looking for whales

Today I was in the water off of Norris Point, NFLD.  Two days ago I was in that same water, with kayaking guides. Those guides said we might see a whale, but not to hold our breath.  Today is two days later and we are in the same kayaking shop, signing our charge card to rent kayaks when someone walks in exclaiming “there is a whale in the bay!”. My manners became questionable as I wanted to head into the water, just to be close to the whale.

I was told it was a minke whale yet I defer to experts and acknowledge my complete and total ignorance as to what whale may have visited, only meters away. I recovered my manners and we went kayaking hoping to see a whale.

Bald eagles showed themselves soaring, pinked jelly fish were observed moving, yet no whale showed itself to our eyes. While kayaking the waters kicked up in response to quarrelling winds and my long range camera was put in a safer location. We were in two kayaks travelling together. While paddling we had to negotiate our own emotions, our own limits, and our own expectations.  The beauty of where we were was somewhat shadowed by the limits of our own small selves.

As I kayaked over the waves I thought about how the guides said David Suzuki owned a summer house in Woody Point. I had no idea if that was true yet my mind wondered what I would say to him, if we ran into each other. I figured it would be deep gratitude for all the work, and awareness, he has done for our environment.  I figured I would share with him what he has done has value and I would pass on the teachings to the next generation.  My mind moved from that to a sign in the kayaking shop about fracking in Sally’s Harbour. I felt very small and wondered how I could feel any sort of power, when it came to changes in the world I live in.

It did not take long to move from that to the saying by Alfred Lord Tennyson  “tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”. That saying was blown in with the weather and then combined with the salty smallness experienced on the big open water. I wanted things to go my way. They were not going my way. In the meantime I was missing what was right in front of me. The moment on the water would end and become a simple memory.

Tonight I watched TV for the first time since the injury, as news and other stimulus is incredibly challenging. I was shocked at the images, and the advertising. The shock had entertainment value as a I discovered Sudbury, Ontario native Alex Trebek was still hosting Jeopardy! In the end the featured image in this post is of a beautiful vista, with noses of two small kayaks travelling together. The image conjures up many a thought of perfection.  It was perfect and in that perfect moment my partner laughed and said “I know what you are thinking. You don’t have to worry. We are both thinking the same thing. We can drive each other crazy sometimes, we are both headstrong.”

The first moral of the story is, things are never what they appear. The second moral is things are exactly as they appear. The last moral of the story is both perceptions are accurate.  It is the ability to be in the moment and accept whatever that moment may be that gives us the courage to move forward. Look at the image again and find the first perception is perfection. Look further and find there is a flaw in the image…just like real life.


JT. Murphy signing off for shift.


  • too many to be named but know you are one of them…..

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