Whale Wisdom

23 Apr

Last week was a week of disasters. My visiting mother-in-law broke her toe; my father-in-law got stung by a vicious Portuguese Man o’War; Rich, at the end of a long day, picked up the green petrol pump and filled our scooter with diesel. Half a mile later the petrol engine spluttered out the foreign juice and died at a roundabout. Things broke in the house; and then, to finish the week off, my work permit application for a permanent job was rejected, after 9 weeks of hoping and waiting. It was the final straw and I spent most of the weekend stomping around the house, wondering if we’d got bad Feng Shui or irritated Fate.

Then, on Sunday, we went on a whale watching trip. Given the week we had had, we expected to see nothing but a few seagulls. But, soon after we left the shore, excited mumblings rippled through the boat; someone had seen a spurt of water shoot up from the ocean.

We scrambled to the front of the boat, necks craned. Sure enough a curve of black arched in the water, followed by a large black and white tail. The silence on the boat was broken by a ricochet of camera clicks. The sight was incredible.

Cresting 2

For the next few hours she continued to shoot up from the waves and curve back down, her shiny, black skin gleaming in the sunlight. As she scooped her fin around, the patch of water beside her turned bright turquoise – the white of her fin reflecting the light of the sun.

I thought then about how, when my mother-in-law broke her toe, a stranger had driven her to the hospital; when Rich’s scooter broke down, two kind gentlemen stopped, put the bike in the back of their van and drove us home, refusing to take any thank you payment. And, here we were now, on a boat in beautiful Bermuda, watching this breath-taking and majestic being in her natural habitat.

Sometimes when the excitement of something new dies down, we move the goalposts. When Rich was offered his job in the summer last year, we couldn’t believe this was happening to us. What an opportunity! And then, somewhere along the way, it did happen to us, and we moved our focus to the next thing that we wanted with no real thought to what we already had.

I am truly disappointed that I cannot take that job. I had big plans – not only for exciting things we could do within the company, but also ideas for ways we could give back to the local community. But, I have also come to realise that what I already have here in Bermuda is wonderful. We eat our weekday dinners outside in the evening sunshine, we spend our weekends on the beach, and we regularly feel like we’re on holiday. And that is more than enough.

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