It makes one feel very small to wait for a whale. Almost an hour spent on a sheer cliff, looking out to sea, like an anxious child waiting for a circus act to begin. The tent now is the Pacific Coast Highway, its big top extending as far west as the eye sees. The whales’ annual migration from Alaska to Mexico occasions a winter pilgrimage to Big Sur to witness their great girths slowly gliding southward.
Binoculars resting on the hood of the car, I quieted the engine and the music, listening to the rush of the wind, the rough surf endlessly pounding the rocks below. Too far up to hear the whales exhale, I surely could see their spouts blow high in the air.
It is within nature my voice is heard by my heart; where creativity breathes; where my innate individuality is woven into the vibrant fabric of the planet. Living amongst others in densely populated sub-urbanity, my humanity tugs, begging me to grasp, or at least glimpse, the true notions of compassion, empathy. My lacking efforts are too often made with wide eyes and mouth agape. There are so many people now, nosily clamoring for attention in ways sometimes grotesque. The crowded ugliness suffocates. But pulling into a state park along the coast moments before sunset accompanied by the soulful horn of Miles Davis, I’m the only one on Earth. The sky changes with each passing moment, reflecting off the glistening coats of black cows grazing on nearby hills now saturated in pastels. Vigor and peace are restored while watching dusk negotiate terms with day and night, its flamboyant hues those found in a child’s watercolor.
#california #bigsur #whalewatching