Diamond Walker’s Blog

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(1) Chapter One

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From the seaward side of this mysterious world  has come the power of the sea. Black dorsals careen  and powerful exhalations burst from the foaming surface as a pod of killer whales scrub deliciously on the smooth stones, rolling on their sides.. even showing their blonde bellies. 

On his stomach, stretched across the damp stones, a long, lean and powerful man watched with a smile..  face almost touching the water, strong hands and long blunt fingers gently tapping the surface. Watching from the side, just behind the man and crouched with muzzle flat on the smooth stones, a very large, black dog cocked an ear and let a low whine roll from his throat. He crept closer without arising.

Amidst the roiling, blowing pod was an impossible presence and the sound of human laughter.

A lean and lithe creature with wet black hair blended perfectly with the orca  in a mottled wetsuit.  A young man was playing in the shallow surf among the whales. Again and again the great mammals twisted and rolled, scrubbing their sleek and shining skins against the rounded stones and the young man seemed one among them. A pale foot flashed high, black dorsal slapped, a hand waved.. huge white smiles biting air and water. Light surf foamed around them all. The tide was moving in.

A whistled signal was heard by all.. sharp, commanding, reminding.. direct. The great bull had spoken. Almost thirty feet in length, he was unable to approach the shore as closely as the rest of the pod. The fourteen sleek bodies came into accord as the pod drifted quietly out to the huge male just barely afloat in the shallows. A moment of pause was held. Fourteen noses formed the circle.. communion was held.. and agreement formed. They will meet again  further to the south, down the coast.

With an orderly and clear progression, thirteen whales turned to seaward, followed briefly by one who finally stopped, treading water.. watching. He turned, and cut through the waters with backward glances, reluctantly coming back to the land and helped ashore by his taller and older twin and a large boisterous black dervish.

Surging into the glowing mist the pod headed west to clear the point  and then cut hard to the south. The young man, father and dog watched them out of sight then turned to lift a slim kayak from the edge of the sea, carrying it off the shoreline and up to a black pickup truck, hoisting it easily into the bed.

“Unbelievable father, they’re so magnificent, so much like.. I have no words to describe the moment..  but .. it’s like a dream when they speak to me.”

 “No need to explain Jimmy. I feel it too. Destiny is sometimes like a dream, when it unfolds around you.”

 “They are troubled, speak of sad sounds they hear in the waters to the south and wonder of the lives of their cousins who have been taken from the sea. Who would do this?”

The two leaned on the truck for a moment and looked toward the distant horizon, until the elder spoke quietly to his son.

“There are many moments out there Jimmy. Some are unexplained and seemingly without reason. And some moments are yet to be created, yet to unfold. Its good that you walk toward the bigger world out there with questions.  Simply bring the harmony of this one with you. Walk softly but powerfully. Walk in beauty..  it will be enough.”

The young man thought about these words, then returned to the water’s edge and bent to put his hands in for a moment. He looked closely at something in his hands then returning to the truck, climbed in with his father. A soft thud was heard as the dog landed in the back.  As the sound of a growling engine echoed away..  the mists closed gently around the longhouse and totem pole.

Shortly after, just up the coastline in a small rocky bay a quiet gathering of houses bathed in the half mist that was so common to the temperate rain forest. The young man’s father waved and several young children ran beside young Jimmy Walker as he headed off up a very steep dirt road. The dog, feet perched on the kayak grinned and barked from the back of the pickup truck.

Inside, Grandfather Joey, a graceful and handsome man in his fifty fourth year perused a bedroom in the house. A small child’s baseball glove, a worn ball, and a hickory bat were handled gently by his large hands. A small framed picture was picked up of two young men many years ago in baseball uniforms with gloves, their arms over each others’ shoulders. Grandmother’s hands ran gently over his shoulders and he turned to her enveloping smile.

Outside the father of the young man loaded reforestation gear into a powerful four by four truck, then paused to look out beyond the inlet before lifting a young girl high over his head and giving her a quick smothering hug with his powerful arms. He swung into the truck and fired up the engine, driving past  his young daughter with a wave, a blast from the horn to the house and vanished up the misty road, leaving a light tang of gasoline to mingle with the pine smells.

Already miles away and driving down the mountainous coast with loud music blaring was a 55 Chevy truck  with B.C. plates and a “Save The Whales” sticker . Jimmy Walker, eighteen years old steady at the wheel. In the back  stood the great black dog, blowing in the windstream as they rolled through the mountainous passes, eventually reaching the east coast of the island. They loaded onto a ferry and traversed the great gap of water to the mainland, then merging with traffic rolled onto and over the soaring Lion’s Gate Bridge and on into the city of Vancouver.

A visit to the zoo and the aquarium followed and the captive killer whales held within their tiny pool were soon being given a message from their cousins in the sea by the young man.

Lying at the edge of the gleaming pool, Jimmy’s face was inches from the water where the two killer whales floated motionless. He spoke very quietly.. hands like his father much earlier in the day, gently caressed  the water.

“I have seen your cousins and they bring word from Skeena and all the sea to the north beyond that river.  They spoke of the missing salmon, and the great ship that still bubbles and groans on the rocks deep below.  They think of you and all your family and ask for word of you.. as they have heard sadness in the water.  I will see them again shortly and your messages and thoughts will be in my heart and in my spirit so that they will hear them.. just as you say them to me.

A young woman watched the scene, mouth agape, a portable computer open on her knees. She’d been looking at profiles of killer whale dorsal fins, trying to further unravel and understand the family hierarchy of the pods of whales traveling this coast and was taken aback by the unusual reaction of the captive whales to this young man who had somehow gained access to the aquarium at this early hour.

Perched directly behind and above in the bleachers, Katherine Edwards wondered how he managed to get to the edge of the pool only forty five feet away without her noticing. Strangely she noticed, the seals had gathered as well at the closest point of their pool to him. They hovered lightly, sleek heads half in and half out of the water.. silent and motionless, seemingly listening.

Soft whistles were coming from the whales with mild punctuations and slight head gestures that she could clearly see had meaning to the young man. She was stunned to see his hands were but inches from the whales jaws and even more stunned when the whales in turn softly rubbed their cheeks against his outstretched fingers.

She did not see the two smooth and rounded stones gently released from the young man’s hands into the pool, only the two whales gently slipping below the surface as the lad arose and walked softly away with a light nod up in her direction. He disappeared under the roof of the access ramp. Startled by his awareness of her presence, she realized she had been holding her breath and gasped as the spell was broken.

“Omigod,my heart is pounding! What was that all about.. and who is he? He was.. he’s gorgeous!”

Her thoughts were broken by the shrill barks of the seals who were bobbing as high as they could at the edge of their pool, excited it seemed by the strange visit.

 “Who on earth was that?”

Running to the top of the bleachers she was rewarded with fleeting glimpses as the young man made his way at a smooth pace toward the parking lot, pausing at many of the zoo enclosures on his way. Finally in the parking lot she heard a loud engine and a black truck pulled away. From the back a large dog looked directly at her until disappearing from sight.

Shaking her head in frustration, she descended to the pool’s edge to look at the two whales and found them rolling gently on their sides at the bottom of the pool and very gently nosing two small round objects.  Grabbing a pool cleaning rod from deckside she tried to retrieve one but found the whales were quick to defeat her attempts, gently defending the objects with their bodies.  Frustrated, she headed below to the observation panel and saw they were simply smooth stones that the whales were playing with.

“I’ve seen stones like that before.. but where? Think girl.. think!  You know what they are.. they’re.. they’re.. rubbing rocks.. they’re rubbing rocks.. and the whales are .. he brought them rubbing rocks ! And the whales know what they are and where they’re from! So that’s why they wouldn’t let me take one of them away!

She found herself suddenly full of emotion. Almost in tears she watched the two whales touching their cheeks to the stones and nosing them gently along the pool bottom

Several hours later… but only five miles away. 

A catcher’s mask dipped behind home plate as the catcher settled into place, dust flying from a glove and pounding fist. Gloved fists clenched a bat, rotating lightly and  rhythmically above a batter’s helmet.  Sixty feet and six inches away a pitcher’s hands were rubbing a ball aggressively,  attentive eyes bearing hard into the plate and foot scraping on the rubber. The catcher’s signal.. the pitch.. a swing.. crack of the bat… the reaction of the infielders and the outfielders.. the manager’s attentive eyes that missed nothing.

A young and polite voice interrupted the reverie. A name was mentioned. A name from long ago.. thirty six years ago in fact.

 

 

Written by diamondwalker

November 25, 2008 at 11:20 pm

One Response

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  1. “…the orca in a mottled wetsuit.” What kind of whale wears a wetsuit?

    The writing strikes me as too involved and ornate. A simpler style would work better, I think.

    daialanye

    July 15, 2012 at 3:44 am


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