Lessons soaking my soul
To set the scene, I am sitting on Tallow Beach, Byron Bay, Northern New South Wales on this glorious Aussie winter morning.
A pod of dolphins is entertaining me with their wave surfing skills, their delight evident.
I think about that, about dolphins surfing the wave. The number of times in my newfound sport of surfing that I have had dolphins a metre or two away from me.
About the playfulness of their character. About their not needing to ‘earn a living.’
I think about apex predators in the animal kingdom. About how the orca might be lucky to catch a single seal.
Yet we humans in one catch can dredge up an entire school of fish. Just like that. Gone.
Repeat this a thousand times a day all around the world.
The predator-prey existence in nature is held in some kind of symbiotic balance. But not when it comes to man. Man, the penultimate predator, able to extinct whole species in a generation or two. And not just in recent times, but going back thousands and thousands of years. Now able to extinct the entire population on earth with a few simple acts.
My mind returns to the dolphin. A dolphin makes it hard for us to remain predatory. Even the most hardened human must feel some ripple of remorse to kill dolphins on mass, their nature inviting joy, not conquest.
To see our capacity to destroy, extinct, extract and colonise is to finally take responsibility for it. Surely now we are finally waking to the reflection of our willful destruction?
These are my wondering thoughts on this Saturday morning, my feet sandy, the sun warm.
Soon I will be in that ocean, with those dolphins. Trying inelegantly to learn to surf the wave, to be with the ocean.
During my time sharing the sea I will be humbled once again. My church, my university, the lessons soaking my soul.
Photo taken June 12th 2021