Swim with Dolphins
Wilderness Tours, Spiritual Awakening, Emotional Healing


Across eons of time – Humpback Hope!!

“We are connected with each other in suprising ways”

These are the words of Lyall Watson as he writes the forwarding words for Ian McCullums’s latest book, Ecological Intelligence’. He continues,

“I learnt this when I was just eight years old, a curious child taking pleasure in wandering barefoot and alone across the great Karoo, semi-desert plain that covers most of South Africa’s dry interior.

At first acquaintance these are bleak places, rusty and unforgiving, stretching to horizons broken only by occasional flat-topped stone koppies. But like all deserts, their delights lie in the detail.

Every day I discovered something new. Floral stones sculpted by the sun and wind and, between them, a wonderful variety of succulent plants camouflaged to look like pebbles waiting patiently for the next rare fall of rain. And once in a while I would be encouraged to encounter a whip-tailed lizard, a trap-door spider, or even a fossil shell left behind by an ancient sea.

These signs of life delighted me. They promised continuity, but I was totally unprepared for what I stumbled over one cloudless day…

It was a shiny stone, larger than my foot, one amongst many others, polished by the elements with reflective ‘desert varnish’. But this one was different. It was golden and beautifully shaped with the sort of symmetry that set it apart from the others. More than just a stone.

I knelt to get a closer look and for a long time that was all I dared to do. I was afraid to touch it, but eventually my curiosity overcame my hesitance and I put my hand gently on it. And as I did, every hair on the nape of my neck bristled.

I knew what it was! A hand-axe carefully crafted to fit even my small hand. A message from the Stone Age, passed directly from the maker’s hand to mine across the gap of a million years.’

This is how it feels when you spend time swimming with the bottle-nosed dolphins who exuberantly leap and surf the warm water waves off the Ponto D’Ouro coastline of Mozambique. It is as if you connect over species-specific boundaries from human to dolphin and learn from a wisdom that is handed down over eons of time. Some time ago I had a similar experience to that which Lyall Watson talks about, a gift passed down through the ages, not a golden, beautifully shaped stone tool, but a pearl of wisdom. The life lesson learnt lead to a new Aborigine-like name: Humpback Hope!

I suppose you are wandering – what life lesson!? At the time I was newly and tentatively in love, to be confronted with a contender for my man! Unfortunately for me the contender was present, whilst I was absent many, many miles away facilitating a Dancing with Dolphins Ecotherapy Experience. Rigid with insecurities, fears of being replaced and jealousy that she was with him and I was not, I struggled to be fully present with where I was – white stretches of sand, warm, robust seas and gleeful, enticing-me-to-play dolphins!

On the third day we headed out on the rubber duck to find the dolphins. The previous day we had not found them and returned slightly dejected. I had specifically been looking for an unusual Humpbacked dolphin, a man of age, who had an incredibly calming and containing effect on his pod. My inner wrestling of the previous days had settled in a place where I knew the only way to deal with the ‘un-beauty’ in me – my jealousies – was to be generous in spirit, to wish for her happy moments; and the only way to allay my fears and insecurities was to trust and hope that the newly established relationship would still have a future. I too needed the calming and containing effect of the Humpback!

We searched the horizons, no dolphins. On an inner level I hoped he would grace me with his presence as a way of teaching me patience and trust, that our connection, myself and the Humpback, and the connection with my new man, would have their time and place. Still no dolphins to be seen. We stopped and longingly wished that they would accept our presence into their underwater realm. Soon, silent prayers and wishful thoughts turned into happy chattering, it felt good to be bobbing on the water with the mellowing sun stroking our backs. I saw him first! He hump-glided towards us, his grey streamlined body undulating through the hilly waters. Others spotted him too and then he was gone. His timely visit branded a new patience and trust in my heart. Thereafter, for a period of time I called myself Humpback Hope.

Posted by Mandy Young under General | Permalink

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