Today while at the beach with some friends, we came upon a seal on the beach (pictured above) that appeared to not be doing so well. It’s generally strange to see seals on the beach here as they tend to stay on the rocks except to pup. Anyway, we thought about what to do and the issue of Truth came up here. What’s the truth of the situation, and what do we do about it? As I sat near the seal, I sat with that question. What arose was the fear of my own mortality. The desire to save the seal was primarily seated, I believe in the discomfort I have with recognizing that I am going to die. Once I saw that I was more able to just be with the seal and not feel so strongly that I need to fix it. I did call a friend who works for the State Park here and he was going to send a ranger out to look at it.
As I write now I recall the most truthful thing about the experience again has to do with Love. It was the love that I felt for the seal. I sang him/her the song Dr. Doolittle sang to the seal he rescued from the circus as he said goodbye to her at the sea – “When I Look in Your Eyes.” There is a line near the end of the song:
“In your eyes
I see the deepness of the sea,
I see the deepness of the love,
The love I feel you feel for me”
which I think really opened up the truth of the situation. Not that I believe the seal loved me, but at least in that moment I loved that seal. He watched me closely as I sang the song and closed his eyes as I finished. I’m sure it was the first time for this creature to be sung to and I can only sense from reactions that it was actually a soothing and trust building experience.
I’m not sure what is going to happen to the seal, but my hunch is that it will be dead by tomorrow. It just didn’t seem well, kind of fidgety. I had held fantasies of bringing it home and putting it in my bathtub and feeding it herring. So what is the truth here. Is not helping the seal to any greater extent a cop out? My heart actually wants to sit next to it and stroke it’s fur and sing more to it. I don’t think I’ll do quite that but I think I’ll head back out there and sing a little more to it and then come in for the evening.
There’s a little more to this too I guess. The song is one my mom and I sang together in the week before she died from cancer 9 years ago so it’s a song I deeply associate with her. Yah, now I’m getting close – as I ruminate on that, I can see that right now, in a way, I’m practicing letting my mom go without fighting the truth of her situation. There, I think that is at least closer to the truth. Bye mom. It’s OK for you to go. Bye seal my friend. Thanks for spending a few sweet moments with me.
“Autumn comes, summer dies,
I see the passing of the years in your eyes,
And when we part there’ll be no tears, no goodbyes,
I’ll just look in your eyes.”