ache to be worthy

ache to be worthy

We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it. 

- Mary Oliver

We were the only boat offshore with sun shining and the water was clear. It was the final day of our all-female expedition, and we were being still, waiting calmly for the whales to resurface... hoping they'd close the distance between us, should they choose. 

We saw Scratch earlier in the week when we were with Dr. Michael Poole, when she broke off from a heat run and swam under us. She was just so captivating, so memorable with her markings and her style of movement. 

I kept my eye on her as the first whale ascended and began to move forward ahead of me. 

Patience, patience, patience - I could hear the captain's mantra in my head as the light rays danced over the small, dark shape below...

It's difficult to get a sense of distance and speed when you're thousands of feet above the ocean floor. 

When Scratch started to ascend, her dark shape growing gracefully, time seemed to pass incredibly slowly... seconds reaching toward eternity as she reached for the surface. 

With my camera rooted under my chest so that I could experience this moment fully, I clicked my shutter release like a metronome... click... click... click... click...

Did I get anything in frame? Will this last much longer? Was I even breathing? None of this was in my mind... because no thought existed in this moment of presence. 

There was only feeling... 

Beauty, peace, quiet, grace, trust, respect, patience, joy, tranquility, wonder... all there, at once... for us to witness, reflect, and experience together in this all-connecting ocean. 

The beauty of the whales - of the ocean, of Mother Nature, of this earth - humanity should ache to be worthy of it. That ache should move us toward remedy, toward changed behavior, toward peace, toward care. 

We were so incredibly lucky to have been with boat operators and people who share this sentiment and were extremely knowledgeable and respectful of the ocean and her whales. The way the guide moved in the water showed his experience, energy and expertise. 

And now, in hindsight, that was one of the most impactful takeaways from this moment of beauty and connection. The way these men created safe sales for us and for the whales was filled with respect and choice. Almost as if you could hear them saying up to you, my dear or either way, all is good

And what a relief that was... to be given the freedom of choice, to get in the water, interact, to connect, to dance... or not. 

It's up to you. We have the choice to protect the sight and feeling of nature, Mother Nature's beauty and peace - the islands, the ocean, the life they hold. 

Ache to be worthy, become better.

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