Monday, August 6, 2012
A Whale of a Week, A Whale of a Love Affair, A Whale of a Visit, A Whale of a Trip, and Just Plain Whales
The last excursion of the "granddaughter week" was a whale watching trip. "I can't promise you we'll see whales," I told the girl who's been to Sea World twice. Ha. We were mugged by Humpbacks, which is whale watching boat parlance for being so surrounded that the boat can't move. Take that, Sea World. We saw Blue Whales, too. It's not a small event---seeing the world's largest animal--but it was the breathing of the Humpbacks, so close to us, so like immense human sighs, that surprised me.
And the dolphins again--this time a nursery pod with babies, hundreds of them the size of footballs. I love the things the guides tell us on these boat rides. The Common Dolphin cannot survive in captivity, they said. Without their family group, they perish in five days, they said. They loose their ability to echolocate.
Location can be everything in a love affair. The Man Who Loves Me, who I thought for a few days might not weather my change of location, was at the train station when the kid and I got off the boat. Immense human sigh.
Instead of driving halfway to Phoenix to hand off the granddaughter, her mom and her auntie came with the other kids to stay for three days and then take her home. They were good sports and did their own thing while I hung out waiting for plumbers and contractors to do this or that in my final push to finish up jobs at the house before I bring my mom to live with me.
Who am I when I'm with you? Are all of us changing our spots, doing the chameleon thing? The little girl/deep thinking budding psychologist turned into a less-than-charming martinet once the little brother and sister were back on the scene. Ah, well. Little human sigh. This just reinforces my plan to take those kids one at a time.
And so, with barely time to pack, I was back in the arms of The Man Who Loves Me. Echolocation working fine, thank you. Then onto a plane 12 hours later, and into a rental car, and driving for five hours, and then into my home town, which cannot be visited without a plunge into the past. See other blog, and peruse while thinking about the Common Dolphin. And imagine these steeples rising above the cornfields, rising above everything, visible from five miles or so away as you drive down the highway. And weird, how the photo won't load properly. But there it is--the fractured picture of a particular church that I thought might crumple and crush me, like Samson in the temple in the movie "The Ten Commandments," as I sat through dozens of masses as a secretly pregnant 16/17-year-old.
And so here I am, struggling a bit with my echolocation, in my hometown. But my mother is here, and next week, after a thirty-hour drive spread over an as yet undetermined number of days, I will return with her to the land of the whales where I will listen for their sighs.