There is something magical about whales. When I hear the long, misty Phoofff! Of a humpback whale drifting through my window, it enchants me, I have to venture out to say hello.
Whales in the front yard are first on the list of “Wildlife Sightings you MUST Radio your Neighbors about.” But, as a first sighter, it’s totally legal to call once you’re on the water, it’s like a bonus, that way you can have a few magic moments alone. Whales have to be shared in my community. And besides, I only have 12 neighbors. It’s a rarity if more than one motors out. Sometimes watching whales from your porch is just as special.
Today, alone, I was blessed to meet the whale who blows hearts. With every out-breath, like a shape-shifted angel, she left a giant, misty, sparkling heart upon the air. I smiled at the doubt trying to creep into my own heart as the whale exhaled again and another heart dissipated before me. I reassured my logical mind, “No, it’s really happening. I’m not imagining it.” They were perfect hearts, not like some awkward shape of a face in a cliff line or on the trunk of a tree that only your friend can see with 100% certainty. This whale blew hearts from her blowhole like we blow bubbles from wands.
I spent a long time with her, just bobbing in my boat, mouth agape, chest fluttering, in awe of such wonder. I nearly forgot to take a picture. Sometimes putting camera to eye can steal a moment of grace in nature.
She then came close to my boat and began rolling onto her back, flapping humungous pectoral fins as if practicing the backstroke. It’s always a gift to see the beautiful detail of a gentle, mighty humpback whale up close. She rolled back and forth onto each side, splashing her bumpy, long flippers, spying on me with one giant eye as if to say, “You checkin’ this out. Watch this!” She tossed and turned, tail flapped and head bobbed and then calmly drifted onto her back again alongside my boat. I don’t know her name yet, or if she’s even a girl, but I call the whale; St. Valentine.