This morning after I dropped my daughter off at school I just did not feel like going home. What did I feel like? I decided to drive down to the coast in Del Mar. I found a great parking spot with an expansive view of the Pacific. Right away I noticed a couple dolphins frolicking in the surf, and then several more went by. Some of the dolphins were swimming near a big gray blur and, although I thought I saw a spray of water shoot up, at first dismissed it as my usual imagining of spotting a whale. I popped out of my car and hopped onto a large rock on the roadside. Yes, a gray whale! There may of been two. I thought I saw a smaller one, but it disappeared. I was thrilled, but it was early and there were few people around, and none seemed to be noticing. Then, it shot its head right out of the water, beautiful creature. A little behind the others in its migration. I’m a slow traveler myself, always wanting to stop and explore, so I get that. I was thrilled and talking to myself with no one to share it with. After about twenty minutes of this solo viewing, a few people started to notice and came over to chat with me. One more vertical appearance from the whale and then things started to quiet. A few more dolphins in the distance. I wished one of the ladies I’d been chatting with a beautiful day and she gave me a “God bless you” and we parted ways as I walked down to the shore and popped my sandals off. Time for a walk.
It was overcast and yet not cold, a glorious morning for a long stroll. The brisk salt water streaming over my toes was so refreshing. Pelicans dove, dipped, and floated contentedly on the water, bellies full. One dove down right in front of me, beak pointed like an arrow sure to hit the target, it went under water and was up as quickly, then it gulped down its reward. Wow.
I went along completely thankful for a morning that was so full of gifts. I spotted a photographer spying the bluffs, alternating between his big camera and binoculars. Ever curious, I just had to ask what could be so interesting, wasn’t it all to be found by facing toward the ocean, not behind us? He first said “It’s a secret!” and then laughed. I was let in on the “secret”. A falcon, Peregrine Falcon, was nesting above. I watched it swoop and soar and reclaim her perch upon a bluff. The kind photographer generously offered me his binoculars and I saw her, beautiful. Her spotted chest looked soft, a perfect warm blanket for her babies. I could tell the man was anxious to get back to his work and so I only took a moment and let him resume. I was grateful for this strangers kindness in sharing. Here are some of his photos, he’s very talented www.pbase.com/herb1rm/peregrine_falcons .
I finished my walk , finding a heart shaped rock just lying in the sand waiting for me (I had already determined I would not be collecting rocks or shells today), and I had to keep it. My senses were full with appreciation for the gift of creation that surrounded me. I needed no photos to remember it all.
On the drive home I rolled down the cars windows, blasted the radio (all the right songs happened to be on, really ). With a smile and a prayerful spirit, I wondered at how my morning was so blessed.