The Dolphin

Mary - Chesapeake, Virginia
Entered on March 30, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65


I believe that along our journey of life we now and then encounter unexplainable but soul searching moments.

Some time ago, I embarked upon an evening walk along the shore of a nearby beach. Without warning, the words “Help, please help,” broke into my quietude. Just ahead stood a middle aged, fully dressed man, who frantically beckoned me toward him.

“We’ve got to get help, stay here,” he gasped and then he was off down the beach before I could respond.

As a retired nurse, I have assisted many folks in times of need in a myriad of ways, but never this. Directly ahead in my pathway, a beautiful beached dolphin appeared to be writhing desperately in a shallow hole dug by its own movement. I approached the creature, briefly considering some physical assistance but knew I was no match in size or weight. Further, I did not know the reason for this dilemma; I proceeded cautiously. Slowly, softly and succinctly I uttered words of comfort. For several minutes, we engaged in this pas de deux of words and writhing with no noticeable change in circumstance.

I stood as a friend ministering to this distressed being. And then an immediate sense of euphoria washed over me when a sudden dramatic leap, made by my new acquaintance, seemed to usher it out of the sandy crater that held it captive. I believed I was observing the reunion of the sea in welcoming home one who had been lost.

A collapse of joy and a collapse of creature occurred simultaneously as I witnessed the marine body landing loudly after the sudden strange movement. My friend now rested solemnly in its sea bed. There would be no more struggle; it was over.

Strange as it may sound, I momentarily wondered how one does CPR on a dolphin? It was during these pensive seconds that I heard sounds coming in waves.

Echoes shouted by the help seeker became audible as he returned with other rescuers. Too late. In a brief comradery of funeral tone, we all embraced spontaneously before appropriate contacts would be made.

Even to this day, I remain moved by this experience. I believe that there are times in our lives when we are called upon to just BE in the moment, when words or writhing no longer effect results and when somehow our souls, our inner selves, might remain connected. Personal vigils with loved ones or those in need may not always be as we hope or anticipate but still our hearts keep watch, until one of us journeys safely home.