I saw dolphins surfing.
I saw them as I gazed down from a high, rocky cliff overlooking the deep blue swell below. The waves rolled steady to the shore, rising as they neared the jagged cliff edge, exploring each crag with white foamy fingers, and then receding in an uncoordinated mess of turbid bubbles. The dolphins swam together about 100 metres from shore – nearly 10 of them. Suddenly as a swell rose beneath them and as they realized it, the whole pod was caught together in the momentum and began to surf the front of a wave. A few of them jumped out of the water as they surfed – their need for action just a bit stronger than their peers.
From the cliff, my eyes locked on this. I felt as if my body was exploding with the kind of excitement you get when you see a shooting star, or witness a small miracle unfolding before you. Standing next to Rick and a group of friends, I could have been alone by myself – the immediacy of my need to witness drawing me into a brief but deep solipsism. The world’s beauty, on a plate before me.
The wave died and suddenly, our eyes no longer fixed on the dolphins, we turned them back on ourselves, giddy and round-eyed. Amazed and breathless. “Did you see that?”
“Yes, did you!?”
The palpable glee shared between us seemed to wait a beat for us to internalize the moment as witnesses to the small miracle. It’s funny the subtle miserly-ness of the human heart, tucking away its share of joy before sharing with others.
But we soon realized that all of us, ten people in total, had seen it. The universe was generous, and we could all revel together in its gifts. We looked around at the world with new eyes, and with recognition that the universe handed each of us a small reminder that the world is a beautiful place, bursting with joy.