Today I had the opportunity to visit the Penninsulua Valdéz just east of Puerto Madryn, in Patagonia. The Penninsulua is home to many different animals and birds including penguins, seals, sea lions, birds, guanacos, rheas, dolphins, orcas, and the Southern Right Whale. The water in the gulf of the peninsulua is several degrees warmer than the ocean and so has become the breeding grounds for many different animals including the endangered southern right whale.
The Penninsula has become a national park for Argentina and is a UNESCO World heritige site. The land is become protected from poachers and whalers and over the last decade or so has become a sanctuary among many different animals in the Southern Hemisphere, seeking a safe place to bring life into the world.
I was blessed with the opportunity to get on a boat for an hour and a half to try our luck at seeing the whales. With about 25 other people, I strapped on a lifejacket and climbed aboard the boat. We set out into the gulf. The sun was high but the wind blew it´s heat off our skin as we soared across the water. As we got further from the shore I began quietly singing, a song for Yemoja, the Orisha of the Ocean and the big momma of all life in the Yoruban tradition. I felt chills up and down my body as I was calling out to her. Then as I was quitely singing, my heart leaped as I saw two whales blowing air out of their blowholes off in the distance, ¨¡Mira! ¡Hay dos ballenas!¨, I exclaimed pointing them out to the passengers aboard the ship. The air seemed to get warmer.
We kept riding and the drew closer to the shoreline and the driver of the boat, Jose, spotted a pair of whales about 75 meters away. He quickly cut the engine. The pair surfaced a bit closer to the boat and Jose pointe out that it was a mother and baby Southern Right Whale. The pair swam closer and circled around the boat a bit. I couldn´t beleive how close they were! The kept coming closer and closer as if they were checking us out as much as us them. Then the baby and mother circled right underneath the boat. I was speechless and in awe, snapping pictures as the baby rolled underneath the boat giving us a good look at his whole body. I could almost reach down from the boat and touch his skin. He swam off a bit and dove deeper into the water with his mother, flipping his tail up on his way down! Almost as if he was showing off!
I was utterly speechless in awe at how close I was to such magnificent creatures. I connected with my center and opened my heart to listening.
I whispered a prayer.
A prayer of gratitude and thanks to the beautiful momma for sharing her self and her baby with us all.
A prayer of gratitude for her perserverence and for her strong spirit.
A prayer that we humans may learn from her strong spirit of mothering.
As I whispered the words, she surfaced and through her strong puff of air through her blowhole, came the word ¨love¨.
Love is remembering where we come from. Love is remembering that divine spark from which we all came. Love is how we remember.
Today I fell in love with a whale and her baby.
Today I can remember.