The Dolphin

I should stress now that this contains only words and a story.
You see, when I was at school we spent what seemed like hours reading poetry, or books, I secretly quite enjoyed some of them. But not all, it takes a while for me to absorb things.

Then the teacher asked questions about them: What is the author trying to tell us in this narrative, what emotions is the author trying to get us to feel, what experience in the author’s life could this relate to. I hated that and while my friend found it so easy to write so much to answer these questions, I floundered. I detected no message other than when you change your viewpoint it changes the story, sometimes for the better but sometimes not.
I understood no emotions other than wishing to be elsewhere and I could never relate the book or poem to the authors life. I had enough on with coping with my own life.
What follows is a story, no more no less. There is no message intended other than it’s interesting. You might find something emotional in the story that touches you, I don’t know, but I can tell you that second guessing the emotions of me, the narrator, will bring no new insight to the story. It relates to my life only because I saw it or perhaps dreamed it, sometimes these are so similar that I’ve given up deciding which is which, but there is no other connection to find there.

Just let your imagination go with the story now. Take some time to relax and take some time to just be interested.

It had been a long day, walking the coast path. The steep paths going down to hidden beaches and leading upwards to lofty cliff tops. A long day but a nice day, the sound of the waves, the call of the seabirds, the gentle breeze. People are right when they say you can taste the sea breeze, there is a faint aroma of salt and seaweed and sand. Just strong enought to remind you of where you are.

I found a place to rest on a clifftop overlooking a sandy bay, the gentle waves were sliding up the beach. No surfing today, such a gentle day. I can’t remember if I fell asleep after the exertions of the day, or if I saw a real event unfold before me.

Someone was walking along the beach, it looked like a young girl but from that distance it was hard to tell. Out in the sea I notice a triangular fin moving towards her slowly. She looked up and was transfixed, from her viewpoint she could not tell what this creature was, there are so many tales of sharks coming in to beaches and she appeared to be rooted to the spot and then the beak of a dolphin peered out of the water in front of the fin. She could see the eyes and the blow hole and she heard it take a breath and could see the spray driven by the out-breath. It opened its mouth a little and emitted a squeak, just like you see in films and on TV. She moved slowly towards the dolphin and it stayed right there as if it was waiting for her. It took another breath and she was close enough to smell that fishy breath as it let out the breath and quickly took another without thinking.

She reached out and it turned its head away but allowed her to touch its side. She moved closer. The dolphin floated and allowed its body to touch hers briefly as she stood waist deep in the water.

The water was not warm but not so cold as to be uncomfortable and in any event she was so engrossed in the encounter that water temperature was the last thing on her mind.
She stroked its side and allowed her hand to stray to the fin. Gently tracing that outline but noticing the roughness of the skin and the imperfections at the same time. She appeared to grow taller as you do in the presence of such a force of nature.

She was drawn to reach out both hands to encircle it and hold it but it twitched its tail and moved away. Then it allowed itself to drift back to rest against her body as the waves lapped at them both and she laid a single hand on the back and stroked the fin. The dolphin took another breath. Slower this time. The out-breath was more gentle and sprayed no water in to the breeze this time, like a gentle sigh.

Out of nowhere came a hoard of people. They splashed towards the dolphin and the girl and they touched, prodded pushed shouted whooped splashed all around. With a roll of its body and a flick of its tail the dolphin dived and disappeared in to the deep.

The hoard left having had their thrill, nattering, comparing experiences cackling, catching a selfie of themselves and the memory of the dolphin in the water.

The hoard and their noise receded, but the girl stayed. She just stood waist deep in water upper body and clothes wet from the presence of the hoarde and the rapid departure of the dolphin.
The way she stood and watched was so poignant, it looked like what people describe as a deep longing but in truth I will never know what it was.

She walked along the beach knee deep in water, allowing the waves to brush against her and splash up her legs. Every so often she looked out towards the deeper water, towards the swell beyond the languid waves.

Standing still and watching.

But there are so many things that I don’t know, and I would have liked to have observe this scene for longer. I like to remember with fondness the moments that I spent watching, spellbound, holding my breath so as not to spoil anything.
The girl continued on her way, checking the sea, she appeared to be searching for a sight of the fin. She walked out of my view.

I saw her briefly later that day, we didn’t speak but she smiled, it was a full warm smile of someone who knew something incredible that couldn’t yet be shared with words, just yet. But a smile that said she would find a way to try.

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