Thursday, September 2, 2010

Songs of Seals

What’s next for you?  My friend had asked an innocent question, but her words echoed through my mind during the past month. What was next? The sun was setting on this phase in my life, a new day fast approaching.

I had claimed the month of August for me. It was my interlude month, a break between the effort that went into the production of my book and the next phase of promoting it. 


August was my gift to myself, a reward for accomplishing what I had set out to do. It was also a pause, a chance to dream and play and to give myself over to spontaneity. I did not make plans, but took opportunities that came my way.

And by clearing that space, opportunities had room to surface…almost daily. My heart had been secretly missing water...and my month turned out to be rich with beach walks and swims, escapes to a secluded lake, birdwatching, a week at the seashore, re-connections with friends, a spontaneous day tour along the Fundy coast with a friend who operates a tour company. I must admit, I've had a whale of a grand time...

Anna-Marie, of Roads to Sea Guided Tours, in action at the Hopewell Rocks.
Then this week, a friend mentioned she was taking her boys on an overnight camp-out by the sea and asked if I might like to join them. A deserted beach, backed by dunes, warmed by an uncharacteristic heat wave…why would I refuse?
We pitched our tents in the twilight and gathered firewood before dark. We spied a colony of grey seals bobbing in the swells a dozen yards offshore, their heads turned in our direction, watching…were they curious? I admit feeling thrilled that these large creatures of the sea deemed us worthy of their attention.


Then, as daylight disappeared, and we gathered around the campfire to tell stories, we heard them singing, their soulful voices haunting, yet beautiful…floating across the surface of the sea. We talked about what they might be saying to each other in their seal words.

The lonely notes of their song echoed of eternity, of mystery and of community. I marvelled to myself that this creature could be so ungainly and raucous when on land, but sing so clearly and carry such grace and poise when in its water element.

As I lay alone in my tent that night, waiting for the moon rise and listening to the waves and soothing, ethereal quality of their voices, I thought about my own sense of eternity, the mystery of tomorrow and my community of family and friends.


I thought of how they have gently supported me - how their encouraging words have been music to my soul - as I have come into my own element…the place - and the age - where I feel most poised and graceful.


What is next for me?  I really don’t know yet, but I'm not worried. I know I am on the brink of a new day, one bringing a marvelous opportunity that will be perfectly suited for me and my abilities. I just have to create the time and space for it to emerge.

For now, I wait. Quietly. Openly. Anticipating. Grateful.

9 comments:

Diane said...

oh gosh, this is beautiful. Your writing, as I've always said, touches and really draws me in. I envy this little sojourn you had and I love how you're so self aware. It's like reading a fine novel, except it's real. Thank you for sharing these lovely moments and thoughts.

altadenahiker said...

Those tootsies are an inspiration.

Zhoen said...

Hopewell Rocks are a fine place to ponder what comes next. I remember my visit there as a kid, all the signs about being aware of time and tides, sand and kelp, the fragility of the place in geological time.

Deborah Carr said...

Zhoen- and for you to visit back then, before the days of interpretation, and still absorb the special story in the stones and tides tells me you are a very eyes-wide-open and aware lady.

One Woman's Journey said...

Oh, how beautiful .... Your writing and your picture.
I do not mean to copy Diane - but I almost envy you. I wish I could have been in your pocket. I miss the ocean so very much. Has been many years since I walked in the sand and listened to the waves.
You are one talented and very special person.

Amy said...

It sounds as if you captured wonderful memories! And such a time of laidback reflection should be just what you need to get you started come fall ...

Relyn said...

I like the way you choose to spend your time. It seems to me that all of it is purposeful. The frantic writing, the waiting, the quiet interludes. I am so inspired by the fact that you choose your life. You don't just let it happen to you and then ride out the storm.

Carolynn said...

That is definitely a question ripe with possibility. I don't think I've ever heard seals singing. It must be a wonderfully haunting sound in the dark.

I especially like the last line of this post.

Deborah Carr said...

Relyn, you make me think. Sometimes it seems like I do just ride the waves and take what may, but in reality, I think there is an inner piece of me who knows exactly where she is going. And the choices I make on the surface reflect this inner knowing.

Carolyn, for the song of a seal, think coyote crossed with whale, echoing across the waves...