I recently saw a post on Facebook about a whale who was entangled in a web of crab trap lines and the efforts that a group of humans took to save her. I did not write the post or experience it myself, but I found it to be tremendously profound. In this blog I will share with you the story of the humpback whale and the gratitude that she showed to her rescuers, and how we can perform acts of kindness to our fellow humans and feel more connected to each other.
The Story of the Trapped Humpback Whale
This Facebook story was written by John Everett. I do not remember who shared it when I saw it, but you can find it on Facebook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/john.everett.564/posts/4613718408645259
His story read,
“A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. This is her story of giving gratitude. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her…. a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same. “
The Human to Animal Connection
The beauty of this story is really two-fold. It shows the way that our connections span all kinds of relationships, human to human or mammal to mammal. The story of the humpback whale made my heart swell with happiness because of the connection between human and whale.
Our animal friends cannot use words, but they certainly can make themselves understood. We understand their needs when they need some food, time outside, or some affection from their humans. Their sounds, whether chirps, barks, meows, etc. convey their response to what is happening around them. Their body language, although sometimes different than our own, is a way that we communicate across our vastly different species. We understand through their sounds and their body language that they are thinking, feeling, sentient beings. We feel close to them, we understand them, and we are driven to protect them.
The Human to Human Connection
The other reason I love this story so much is that we all have relationships. Some are more unsettled than others. Within those relationships there will be ebbs and flows. We want to avoid the ebbs, but we love the flows! This story is a metaphor for the joy of being surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
I just shared a post recently about how you truly can change the world by changing yourself. Do you agree with that? Often, we are reluctant to look within at the behaviors or attitudes we can change. When we do, sometimes we do not like what we see. Other times we can truly be proud of what we have changed, but there is always room for more.
Think of some small act that you have done for another person without even thinking about it. It may have been to bend over and help someone pick up an item they dropped. It may be opening a door for someone with their hands full. It may be simply smiling with your eyes to a clerk in a checkout line and sharing a word of encouragement or appreciation. Life has changed with masks, but that does not mean we can or should hide behind them.
We have been, and always will be, social beings. We can regulate that socialization but spending time with others will always be a basic human need. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “Research shows us that loneliness is on the rise, and that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.” Although we have been physically distanced during Covid, it is important to stay connected with other humans in whatever way we safely can.
My Wish is Always For You To Relax and Be Well
As a relaxation companion, I walk alongside others to help them find their favorite and most effective resource for making life more enjoyable. That looks different for everyone. Sometimes a simple sigh can convey that relaxation has been achieved. Reaching out has been a bit of a taboo of late with Covid, but my wish is that you have a safe bubble to satisfy this need. I am available to chat anytime if you want to explore what helps you feel connected and relaxed. Remember my wish is always for you to Be Well!
May you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. Thank you for taking time to read this blog and I hope that you feel compelled to forward it or share it with others in your social world, no matter how small or big. Every connection count, every meaningful positive outreach changes the world. SHARE to let everyone know about this story!!