Day of the Dolphins


Saturday, October 19, 2013


They donít always wait until the last moment to arrive.

Last year, when we came to Cape May, they popped up out of nowhere, and kept showing up, until I regained faith I had lost over the previous warm months.

They are angels to me, and signs of good things to come.

Those years when I fail to see them or the rare years when I donít come at all, things darken and get dim, and I struggle to find balance in the world.

I blame eye troubles and other problems that followed my failing to come here in 2011.

Last year I came here to heal and renew, and these angels appeared out of the warm waves in twos and threes, after I had pleaded with the sea for signs (something I always do when I am desperate for answers and remember other instances in moments like this when I came to the sea and the sea responded.)

Some years we rise up out of the depths of depression, clinging to the slippery fins that carry us back into light. Other years, we just want those angels to verify that we are on the right path or to give us additional strength to carry on what we have already begun.

Some years, we look for verification and power.

Most years when I see them they are playful or engaged. Last year, they rose and fell in batches of two or three, coming like the waves, one after another, until they faded away.

This year with the rain and my own shortened stay I did not see them the first night or even the second day, and so felt a bit desperate when I took the last walk along the beach before preparing to make my way north again.

The walk up the beach from breakfast at Georgeís is always a last tradition, a farewell to this live giving place for another year, and before the plunge into autumn and the troubled winter that follows.

I donít come here in Spring because this is not a spring place for me. Woodstock is, Kingston is, where budding trees greet me.

This is a place of autumn and changing leaves during the drive home, and this last moment of sea song Ė and dolphins.

And so when I went to turn back to the promenade and I glanced back out at the waves, I saw the first fin, not close to shore, but recognizable, and then I saw another, and then another, and then scores more, and then hundreds more, as a whole flotilla of fins and arched backs made their way from the north to the south, heading to warmer water no doubt, feeding off the fish that the storm stirred up for two days, giving me faith in numbers I had never seen before, that there is strength in me to carry on for another year, and that the renewal of last year is the renewal of this year, and that when I come back next year, these gentle angels will be waiting with the same sense of wonder.


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