This morning, I took a beach walk. The high tide from the night before had ebbed to a fresh palette of sand and the only creatures on the beach were a few birds and a distance dog walker. Still in a bit of a slumber, I heard a noise, looked up, and saw the white spout of a whale as its dark back surfaced from beneath the water. I reacted as I always do when glimpsing the majestic mammal, with a spike of adrenaline and an audible sigh. My physiology changed in a breath.
This week, I wanted to write something uplifting. After all it’s spring, most of us our celebrating some form of Easter or Passover, and in Southern California we have had a break in the rain. Yet, although I try to focus on the positive, I find myself vibrating with a new kind of fear. As I make my way through my days, I am afraid to look at the news that regularly pings on my cell phone– and I’m afraid not to.
Last Sunday, I went to a cove in Laguna Beach to watch the release of the seal pups. The pups where rescued in November and December by a team of volunteers at the Marine Mammal Center. Most of the seals weighed less than 25 pounds when they were found. They were under-nourished, alone, and had beached themselves to die. Local residents teamed together and sponsored the recovery project. In captivity, the seals gained over 50 pounds. Now, it was time to return them to the wild.