Mother Ocean

Dolphin family. Santa Barbara Channel, Southern California.

Leaning over the kayak, I peer down amber stalks of kelp growing from the ocean floor. Nearby, a sea lion surfaces – we consider each other amid gentle, early-fall rollers making their way to shore. 

As the wave set passes, a dozen dolphins appear suddenly, crowding my kayak. Their collective energy kicks my adrenaline switch, charging my arm hairs into static attention. I worry that they might bump my small craft, ejecting me into the center of their pod. Instead, they offer up a newborn calf as big as my forearm; her vulnerable body cradled by a muscled mass of flippers. 

Awestruck, I look to the sea lion for confirmation that this is really happening. The pinniped’s head pokes up through floppy kelp leaves as he peers over my bow to get a better look. We admire the pearl-grey infant in unison as the dolphin tribe puffs through blowholes, coating my face and arms with sea spray.   

“Beautiful baby!” I say. 

They emit a prideful beam before slowly moving their newborn parade downcoast. 

One month later, I discover I’m pregnant. 

"Our ocean home."

I arrive home with my swaddled newborn in early summer and stand on the porch as a salty breeze grazes her tender cheeks. 

“Home,” I whisper, “Our ocean home.” 

Just offshore, a small pod of dolphins pauses in the kelp forest.  I hold my daughter up so they can see her; she bats her gossamer eyelashes, reflecting tiny rainbows from the sun. A dolphin leaps. My pride crashes over the swell rolling between us and I can’t help but think that the jumping dolphin is a mama like me.

A feeling of motherly kinship stirs deep in my cells;  in that moment, I resolve to devote myself to protecting the ocean home that nurtures her baby and mine.

About adventuremama

An outdoor travel writer, adventure guide and mother.
This entry was posted in Nature, Ocean Adventures, Parenting, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mother Ocean

  1. Laughinagain says:

    Love it. I feel a connectedness with you, mamma!

  2. The magical story of how Lil Mama began her spiritual journey with the help of her ocean friends.

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