The awe of the dolphins

By Sindy Warren

Last week I was in Pawleys Island, South Carolina for a week.  The family got a big house on the ocean and 11 of us settled in for a week of sun, sand, and water.  It’s a tradition we’ve done every year of my daughter’s life, and even before then.  It seems that every year we get to see dolphins, not too far from shore, cresting above the water as they swim by.  It’s always a thrill, no matter how many times we’ve spied these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.  This year was even more spectacular than usual.  One day there must have been over 20 dolphins playing off the shore right in front of our house.  Jumping out of the water, spinning in the air, spraying gusts of ocean water.

As my sister-in-law and I stood about knee deep in the water, we let out little screeches of delight every time another one showed itself.  I wondered why are we so excited?  We see this, or at least some version of it, every year, and yet each time it is like the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen.  There is a childlike quality to our reactions, an awe at seeing the beauty of the natural world in action.

It struck me that it would be great if we could bottle this reaction, maintaining a childlike wonder, an excitement to just observing what is.  We can’t always be on the Atlantic seeing dolphins at play, but we can try to cultivate this sense of newness and wonder in our daily lives and even on our mats.  The next time I come into  downward facing dog, I commit to try and bring this quality to my practice.  To feel the breath, delight in the sensations, and appreciate the beauty in the opportunity to simply move, breath and practice.  Join me!