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The Wisdom of The Dolphins
by June Smith

My first sale came easily and quite by chance. In 1998, at the age of 67, I fulfilled a lifelong fantasy by attending an ocean seminar swimming with wild spinner dolphins on the island of Hawaii. I had long been intrigued with stories about the interactions of cetaceans with humans, but had no idea that my communion with the dolphins would reacquaint me with the joy of writing, a pursuit I had lost touch with for so many years.

Our seminar facilitators lovingly guided our small group through daily meditation, as well as our adventures with the dolphins. Our welcoming meeting set the tone, with fresh leis and soothing island music. It was here that we gathered each evening for the sharing of thoughts and feelings after our day in the ocean. Mirroring the dolphin pod example, we soon became a family, providing each other with companionship and support. We were supplied with journals and encouraged to record our impressions before retiring.

Each day before we boarded our boat, we thanked the Hawaiian Gods for allowing us to enter their warm, nurturing water. We sent a message of love to the dolphins asking them to join us in play if they so chose. The boat ride itself was uplifting. Inspiring music coming over the speakers intensified the magnificent view of the radiant blue waters before us. When dolphins appeared, we were ecstatic, but joined them in the water only if they remained with us for a while.

On our last day, we did an exercise that still impacts me today. Using the subjects of health, physical and mental; work; relationships; environment and the universe, we wrote the way we wished it to be in our lives, but as if it was that way today. An intellect cleared of anxiety allowed me to record profound thoughts and ideas, many of which I now practice.

Back home, after fully documenting my adventure, I felt a deep need to share it with others. This was the first time a trip had created such a powerful impact on me. Referring to my journal, I poured my soul into the story, so as never to forget that magical, mind-expanding week.

When the travel editor of my local paper retired, the features editor asked for submissions from the community. This was the opportunity I was looking for, and I submitted the story. To my delight, I received an enthusiastic call from the features editor saying how much he enjoyed it and could I add some embellishments? When I stopped by his office to deliver photos, he encouraged me to continue contributing articles.

When my story and photos were published on the front page of the features section on Easter Sunday; I could hardly believe my eyes! A check arrived soon after, validating me as a professional writer. I have been happily writing articles and essays ever since.

The Dolphin Spirit of Hawaii seminar offered a much more meaningful agenda than I could ever have imagined. Through meditation, journaling, and a week spent savoring nature; my eyes were opened up to the endless possibilities that were waiting for me in this later stage of my life.

© Copyright 2006, June Smith

June Smith is the retired owner of a northern California winery. She now has dozens of wine, food and travel feature stories to her credit.

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