I learned more about nature and how it spoke to me one September morning in 2018. My dog Gus and I were strolling down the beach before sunrise. It is our ritual every morning at our beach house. I meditate as the sun rises over the ocean, then off we go for our walk on the sand.
This stroll was remarkably different from any other walk we took together. In the distance I saw a large gray object, but I wasn't sure what it was until we got closer. I was devastated to see that a beautiful dolphin had recently washed up on shore. I stood over it and said a prayer, then I called the Department of Natural Resources to have the carcass picked up. After I got off the phone, I looked down and there was Gus lying beside the body. I was taken aback, but I was in awe of his sensitivity toward the deceased dolphin. He knew instinctively what had happened, and it seemed to me he felt a deep sadness.
As we walked away from the dolphin, I looked out over the ocean. I saw a beautiful rainbow on the horizon. A sense of peace and gratitude came over me. The entire morning felt synchronized, as if Gus I were the only ones on the beach and we were privileged to be receiving a unique spiritual message.
I later found out from a necropsy report that this dolphin was a rare Clymene species (Stenella), and my experience was its first sighting on the South Carolina coast. The report said marine biologists thought the dolphin must have been disoriented and had gone off course.
As I reflect back on the experience, I wonder if we humans have gone off course in our inattention to other sentient beings. And I suspect that’s also true of our treatment of mentally challenged people, who often have extraordinary sensory perception. Do all sensitive creatures participate in another dimension, but some have difficulty living on earth because there is too much sensory overload?
And I come back to thinking about my brother, Call. He absorbed all the chaos energy in our unhappy family while he was growing up. And it became too much for him. He left home to find his own peace, which he later told me he felt when he was in close touch with nature.
My beloved brother. My dear companion Gus. They both remind me to stop and appreciate the wondrous and thrilling gift of being alive.