Pelican Therapy (Day 126)

I met Colleen and Angie for a 6 am swim this morning. Normally, such an early hour would mean swimming through a spectacular sunrise, but dawn comes so much earlier these days. Anyway, it wouldn’t have mattered what time we arrived because thick clouds and fog hung over the hills. 

All was quiet and calm as we glided into the silvery bay. The water was smooth and calm, but simultaneously rolling with energy. I snapped a few pictures and then realized my phone case was filling with water. Ever since my GoPro crapped out, I’ve been experimenting with different waterproof phone cases and ways to attach the phone so that it doesn’t get in the way of my swimming and I haven’t found the right solution yet. This one worked for nearly a month but doesn’t anymore. 

So, I swam back to shore and put my phone inside my drybag/buoy. The phone was nice and safe, but it meant I couldn’t take any more pictures, which turned out to be a big disappointment because we were treated to an incredible display from a squadron of California brown pelicans. We’d swum out to the big tree and were heading back in at a leisurely pace when we stopped to watch a pelican fly overhead. It hovered and dove and was soon joined by a second pelican, then a third. Soon there were a dozen pelicans circling around us, hovering, diving, crashing into the water. For several minutes they flew around us; so close I could make out the jagged edges of their tail feathers, the texture of their long beaks. It was amazing.

Eventually, they flew on and we resumed our progress toward shore, chatting along the way about the kinds of deep and meaningful things that are inspired by a display of dancing pelicans. At one point Angie said, “This is my therapy,” and Colleen added, “Today it was pelican therapy.”

I sure wish I’d had my camera, but maybe I was meant to simply experience it without attempting to capture a good photo. 

One thought on “Pelican Therapy (Day 126)

  1. I’ve done hundreds of swims in the harbor near where I live and one ot the things that strikes me is how some of the wild companions are familiar and predictable and others show up occasionally or just for a rare treat like your pelicans. Combine that with the tides, the weather, the changing angle of the sun, and the difference between being solitary or with friends and it is so many different experiences.


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