Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10 - Dolphin Dreams

Today is 10/10/10, a date that I knew must be an auspicious one.  I find numbers and their relationships pretty fascinating (although it is a fancy, not a study), and I can never resist triple repeats of a number.

I received an email from a friend stating that today is an auspicious date for us to accept the transmission of the "Crystalline Portals of the Oceans".  I watched a You-tube video on this which focuses on dolphins and whales as transmitters of love and light and how their energy work flows to all peoples through all the oceans.  Well, I don't know anything about the Crystalline Portals of the Oceans, but I do know a little about dolphins.

I have been drawn to dolphins and whales ever since I can remember.  When I was in elementary school, our family traveled to Marineland in Florida and one of the dolphins there decided to play catch with my Mom.  It surprised my Mom, and the beach ball the dolphin tossed to her soaked her entire shirt!  The dolphin started laughing, and so did my Mom!  I wished that dolphin had picked ME to play with...

Often, my Mom would give me gifts that had a theme of dolphins: glass sculptures, small statues, jewelry, etc.  For herself, she loved hummingbirds and images of them were all through and around her home (including live ones she would feed just outside her kitchen window).

When I originally entered college, I majored in Biology Education with the thought that if I wanted to continue school after I earned my B.S. degree, I would study Marine Biology at the College of Charleston.  They had a large research center on James Island in Charleston, and I knew I would enjoy studying there.  For various reasons, I switched my major to English Education, so I never followed through on studying Marine Biology even though it still fascinates me.

Dolphins even graced our wedding weekend.  A friend gave us their front-beach house at Seabrook Island to use for the weekend and we invited friends from out of town to spend the weekend there with us.  Sunday morning -- after our Saturday wedding -- we were all enjoying a walk on the beach when a pod of dolphins began playing just offshore.  It felt like a blessing to have their joy so close to us.

But it wasn't until my 40s that I realized how closely connected I am to dolphins.  (After all, doesn't everyone love dolphins?  What's not to love?)  In 1998 I went on my first retreat to swim with dolphins in the Florida Keys. The retreat, led by Barbara Lange, was an opening for me in many ways.  We stayed at a beautiful location on Islamorada Key, visited dolphins and other saltwater creatures at Theater of the Sea, and created art of all kinds.  It was a great time!

Being with the dolphins is absolutely magical.  One can feel the joy and wisdom the dolphins hold, both physically and emotionally.  Being in the water with them, I really wanted to play with them, but the "trainers" were very strict.  (I put "trainers" in quotes because some of them just don't know what they are doing OR don't appreciate the animals they are working with.  An example:  At Theater of the Sea, one of the female dolphins that we were swimming with was in heat and was not paying attention to us as much as to the males in the area next to ours.  They were separated by an underwater cyclone fence that extended a few inches above the surface of the water.  I asked one of the young trainers why the dolphins don't jump over the fencing, and he said, "Because we teach them to jump, they don't do it naturally."  Hmmmm... they why all those joyful, playful jumps and rolls we see in all footage of wild dolphins...?  It is baffling that anyone could be that glib about such magnificent, intelligent creatures!  By the way, dolphins are the only species in addition to humans that engage in sex for the fun of it.  All other creatures do it for procreation.  At least that's what I've read; who knows how one discerns the reasons animals have sex...)  

Another time that left me scratching my head was on that same trip when we swam with another group of dolphins.  Their regular trainer wasn't there that day, but the head trainer, a German man who didn't seem to like working with dolphins (!) was there instead (we dubbed him "The Teutonic Plague").  And I can tell you, the dolphins certainly didn't seem to like him!  They pretty much ignored him... but when we absconded with the fish bucket, the dolphins were all ABOUT paying attention to us!  Again, we had a blast with them.  At one point, two dolphins used their beaks against the soles of my feet to push me around the enclosure while I was floating on my back.  I laughed and laughed and laughed!  I felt full of joy and humor... and I attribute it all to dolphins.

Right after that first swim at Theater of the Sea, I left with a terrible headache.  We were all to meet later that afternoon to discuss our experiences.  I took a short nap after returning, then wrote about my experience.  The phrase that kept nudging me in my mind was, "Light, Love, and Laughter," but as I wrote, I ignored it because I didn't know where the thought came from.  But when we all circled together later that afternoon, another woman on the retreat read that she had received, "Light, Love, and Laughter" from the dolphins!  I was shocked that she had understood the very same words that I had from our swim.  I now know better to trust those intuitive nudges.

Two years later, Andrew and I took our three kids to the Keys for a New Years holiday and we went swimming with the dolphins as a special way to welcome 2000.  While Allen and Paige were too young, Paul was just old enough to join the group.  When he was in the water with the dolphins, his countenance was literally transformed into pure bliss!  What a memory that is!  I remember a young dolphin nudging up to me as I stood in the water waiting for my turn.  His name was Eclipse, a perfect name for a dolphin.  And while we were warned not to touch the dolphins, I regret not petting him since he had sought me out.  I need to learn to follow my inner instructions as well as I follow external directions.

A year or two later, I went with Barbara on a retreat to Bimini to swim with wild dolphins.  We only were able to swim one time with them (there is, of course, no guarantee in the wild), and they seemed interested that we were there.  At one point, the boat we were on was creating a large wake, and the dolphins, like chariot horses of Neptune, leapt and played in the wake!  What a sight.  What a blessing.

I've never seen a whale in person, only on TV and in photographs.  I can't imagine how powerful they must be in real life!  I have a CD with humpback whale songs that I sometimes listen to when I am creating art.  I swear one of them sounds like Curly (of the Three Stooges) with its "Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck" sounds.  They make me smile... and wonder.  Their song can be heard all up and down the Pacific Ocean.  Imagine the power in that!

One of these days, I hope Andrew and I can follow the whales as they migrate up the west coast on the coastal highway from Baja to Alaska.  Maybe we could even start off in Hawaii, then fly back and rejoin them in the States.  Then spend a month or so camping and exploring Alaska and watching them feed and dance off the coast.  

I hope you have an auspicious day today, 10-10-10.