Thursday, June 24

TGIF: Gratitude for Whales and Dreams

A long time ago (and perhaps in a galaxy far far away) I wanted to design habitats for zoos. That was my dream in undergraduate school and I graduated with a degree in Biology and Chemistry with a focus in Zoology. But living in Huntsville, Alabama I didn't have access to zoos or aquariums so I had no experience. I couldn't find a job after graduation and I couldn't afford to go to graduate school. So my dream died, in the way so many dreams do, under the weight of reality and rent payments.

I don't regret my life or what happened later but that part of me that wanted to help animals be better understood and be comfortable and happy at the same time still lives within me. I still find incredible joy in experiencing the wonder of the world of animals around me, especially marine life and mammals.

I moved to the Seattle area 14 years ago and I have wanted to see the resident orca whales since I first heard about them so many years ago. This week I finally did it! I think there was a small part of me that felt I didn't get to go see these majestic creatures since I gave up my dream of helping them so long ago. Yet watching them play with kelp and leap up with curiosity to check out the strange creatures peering at them from boats, I realized that I am not all that important. These whales didn't care whether or not I had lived up to my potential dream. They were simply their amazing selves and would remain so no matter what I did or didn't accomplish. I am grateful for their lesson in my life, for their beauty, and for their continued (though endangered) presence in the world.

"It was rare to see parts of all three resident pods J, K, and L in the same area today. And to hear the J pod calling to each other. What a treat!" -- Sarah, the Naturist

©2015 Chrysty Hendrick
©2015 Chrysty Hendrick

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