Sunday evening visitors

September 8, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, when describing how I heard the faintest of “cracks” in the din of a cacophony of other noises, yesterday the opposite happened during a soft evening light of zero wind and little noise. While quietly pulling out noxious weeds on the grassy slope of the tennis court, my ears perked when a very definite loud sound like two sticks hitting each other repeatedly happened around every six seconds.

Looking toward the direction of the sound, I kept thinking it should be a couple of kids walking around on the land doing what kids do: bang on sticks. Yet it was late in the day and not the sort of time when anyone would be on the property. I could see nothing that gave a clue as to the origin of the banging.

And then they appeared.


It was only because they had moved further out to sea that they came into my field of vision. Two humpback whales. Two playful whales goofing off in the manner whales do on a Sunday evening.


“Why is it”, I thought, “that myself and everyone else gets such joy in watching such massive tonnage leap out of the water?”

Perhaps there is an inner child within us that understands the need/desire to frolic.

Perhaps there’s an ancient memory in our hearts that recognizes our direct ancestral linkage to these mammals from whence we evolved.

Perhaps, just perhaps, there’s an unconscious, quiet admiration that they — as land animals some 52 million years ago — had the courage to leave their terrestrial home and re-enter the liquid womb of the oceans. The very ocean from whence all life originated.


Ambulocetus natans is the transitional fossil between the land based whale-to-be animal and the whale of today. It is known as “the walking whale that swims”. Discovered only 24 years ago in Pakistan (of all places), it is clear evidence that given enough time, change can happen.

Just think if we put down our guns and gave peace a chance. We just might eventually evolve to not have trigger fingers.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny September 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

Blessed experience.
The power of the whale.
I feel it too.
But you have the joy of seeing them in your front yard!

Laura September 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Living on the edge as you do brings interesting things into focus. I have only seen a whale through your eyes and in my imagining. You are just as extraordinary a creature as they are.
With love,

douglas September 9, 2014 at 2:28 pm


Swim Free, my friend.


Melanie September 9, 2014 at 2:58 am

Frolic. Feed the inner child, rejoice in what this earth gives us. From homemade tomato sauce from freshly picked garden tomatoes to the joyous ruckus of whales, and everything in between. You, Peter, continue to remind me of the glories of living.

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