I sat before my computer, this morning, and attempted to sort out the complexity of need that exists in our current world. My mind wandered and my heart struggled with the continual worry that 35,000+ formerly wild mustangs are in concentration camps and many are dying. That line of thinking brought me to the plot of the BLM to wrench thousands more off from their rightful land this year alone. There is a knot in my stomach over the disaster in the gulf that is currently killing untold amounts of marine life and the potential to kill so much more is currently unfathomable. I almost wretched when the vision of Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar comes to mind as he is the one who has brought these disasters to our shores and yet he can look into a TV camera and with lifeless eyes point fingers at personnel who report directly to him and take no blame or responsibility for the crisis’s.
And as I struggle with these thoughts I hear one of our equine children call out from the pasture behind my office. It’s still dark, I can see nothing but I can hear hoof beats and smile knowing that they are playing, well fed and happy. That brings a moment of peace and I close my eyes only to hear a dolphin, far away, calling to me. Reality and danger are close at hand.
For those of you who know me and/or have read our first book, you are aware of the fact that horses came to me late in life, just like a good woman, and it was the call of the dolphin that reached into my heart during my early years. That call has never ceased, nor have I ignored it but I could affect more change with something that I could grasp and hold onto and at this point in time, I am holding on very tightly to the horses.
One lazy afternoon, several years ago, during a far too rare conversation with my best friend, Jerry Finch, he asked me what I was going to do when we finally nailed the coffin lid down on horse slaughter and managed to get all of the wild mustangs’ back to where they rightfully belong. We were both sipping on a tall, cool glass of my Wrangler Iced Tea and I actually looked into my glass for an omen or a sign.
“You going to retire from being an equine advocate and finish those other books you have half-assed started?” he asked.
His comment made me smile because if it was not for Jerry, I would never have written anything.
“Nope”, I responded, “I am going to go back to my roots, where it all started and tend to some unfinished business.”
“Back to the dolphins and whales, my friend, back to help the dolphins and whales.”
He smiled, nodded and both of us raised our glasses in salute while uttering our motto, “Our work is never done and may no good deed go unpunished”. Even advocates need a good laugh now and then.
So today, in honor of our endangered aquatic cousins I share with you a story of horses and dolphins. They aren’t much different, you know. One walks on all fours and the other swims but they speak with the same heart and they come bearing a like spirit and love of life. I share an excerpt from our first book, a story of love, sadness and life. A brief moment of passion that will last a lifetime, I give to you…
I Believe That I Saw Her This Morning
I believe that I saw her this morning, just a fleeting glimpse, but I feel that she was there. I knew that she had been swimming in my dreams last night. A man knows these things even if the birth of a new day washes away the details. The warmth, the desire, and the guilt lingers on long after you have arisen from the bed and, last night, we loved long, hard, and with great passion. I knew it; I could feel it; and my masculinity told me that it was so.
She first came to me when I was in my early twenties: sleek and beautiful, her nude body rippling with muscles. For me, it was truly love at first sight. But she was terrified as she had been kidnapped from her home and family; the world as she had known it was gone. The will to live had bled out of her heart and soul. She would die if I did not hold her, reassure her, and keep her breathing. For 48 hours I stayed with her and held her smooth body against me while I kept her afloat and walked her around the pool. I insisted that she breathe, that she partake of the life-giving air. For two days I would not allow her soul to escape this world, for her spirit to leave as she had wanted. Two days that almost killed me: no sleep, little food, some water, and much reassurance. I, too, almost died but then we talked. First it was her speaking of her fears, of all that was lost, of the terror of capture, and the pain of isolation. Then it was me speaking. I told her that not all humans were evil; I told her of her mission to teach and to save; I told her of my dreams to help and to make a difference; and somewhere in that exhausted mix, I told her that I loved her and we made it so.
We learned to play, Maleva and me. At first I was afraid when her heart finally healed; when I was in the water with her, she showed her passion for life with the teeth in her mouth. My legs were striped with teeth marks; she loved me and she showed it. Every Wednesday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday I would leave my human wife to dance with my new found lover. The laughter, the joy – no one understood. The playfulness will never escape my heart; the joy she would receive from pulling down my swim trunks each time I left her pool; no human female could compare. She laughed, but only with me. We were so deeply in love. I longed to be a member of her family Delphinsdae; I yearned to be a male of her species Stenella Longirestris. However, I was only a man; a human man, who walked on two legs and could never be an adequate lover. I lived with that guilt and inadequacy, even today.
Then I had to leave; I had to abandon my island paradise. My human mate was suffering from “Island Fever” and I was told that I needed to leave the islands that I loved, to return to the mainland where I would ultimately be betrayed. It was a human thing, I had to go. Being a human male, I did what I was told. I said my goodbyes through tear blurred eyes; I heard the screams of pain in my numbed ears, but I did what I was told I must do. I left her.
Several weeks after I had returned to the mainland, enrolled in college, and gotten a job scraping barnacles from the bottoms of boats, the letter came. It was from my human female Hawaiian “want to be lover”, who worked in the park with Maleva and me. She knew the love that Maleva and I shared. Not only was she both mystified and jealous, but she had always wanted a piece of my passion for herself. I, however, had eyes for only one. She had written to me, probably with great delight and satisfaction. She informed me of Maleva’s refusal to take nourishment after my departure and that she almost died of starvation. She told me that the pain of me leaving drove her to swim into the wall of her pool. Her suicide attempt succeeded: her nose was crushed and her skull was shattered. The marine biologists had never seen anything like that. She also said that she was sorry we had never made love. For decades, I wept; not for her lack of fulfillment but for the loss of a shining jewel, my love, Maleva.
I believe that I saw her this morning, just a fleeting glimpse, but I feel that she was there. I know that I dreamed of her; a man knows these things. I sat on the side of the bed and told my masculinity to subside, it hurt too much. It is true; we made love in my dreams. We embraced each other at the depth of 75 feet, traveling at 25 miles per hour. It was a rush. My heart was still racing and I was breathless, but she continued to coach me.
My dream-lover continued to guide me on my life quest. She whispered softly in my ear; her voice caused the hair on the back of my arms to stand up, even during daylight hours. The voice is sweet, it is pure, and it excites me to remember it in the light of day. She speaks and says that our time will come; her family’s time will come. It is the horses turn now, but then it will be theirs. She awaits me; she will love me for all eternity; and we shall once again love one another. First, I must help the horses and then I can come to her.
I believe that I saw her this morning, just a fleeting glimpse, but I feel that she was there. In the early half light the mist was held low to the pastures. I could only see the backs of the horses as they grazed in the cool dense mist. It swirled around them as if it was water. Then, a dorsal fin broke the surface, but only for a second. I saw it and, way off in the distance, I heard a dolphin laugh. I wept.
I believe that I saw her this morning.