In the fall, the green seaweed some call "sea lettuce" piles up along the tide line on the beach where we do Qi Gung. One November day, we spotted what looked like a whale fin waving in about 30 feet of water. We stopped to look.
It wasn’t an orca whale dorsal fin, but a large sea lion flipper sticking straight up in the air. Sea lions--young dark ones and older gray/blond ones--roiled around the lone flipper. Occasionally a smaller one would emerge beside it, seeming to caress it. Sea lion heads, with their lion/cat like faces and whiskers would emerge, breathe, and dive down again. Was the one who held his flipper in the air stuck on something under the water?
As Tim and I discussed the impossibility and inadvisability of helping--neither his flimsy canoe nor my little dingy would be safe for us to approach the sea lions in--the whole group moved slowly into deeper water and the flipper disappeared.
We stood on the dock, where we could see them better. The whole group came and played around the dock within 30-50 feet for another half hour. It seemed like they were inviting us to come play with them, or putting on a show for us.
By now, it was 9:30 am. Tim was getting cold and I wanted my breakfast. As we prepared to leave, the sea lions gathered together a little way off the dock. We counted 9 of them. The largest one poked his/her head out of the water, looked directly at me, and barked 10 times. Then they were gone.
"Sea Foam" hand painted, dyed, and sewn silk and lace
Inspired by the places where land meets water, and by stories.