T'was a curious little bug that inspired me to write about dolphin language and the special way they communicate. When it perched itself on the edge of a stack of books next to my computer, something happened then that startled me.
As I reached out to grab the critter, it suddenly sprung from the edge while belting out a tiny, but gleeful, "Wheeeeeeeeeeee!" (I swear I really did hear it!)
I was so caught off-guard by the bizarre occurrence that I got a good laugh: it was so darned cute. You probably think I'm daffy unless you're someone who has similar kinds of experiences. Nevertheless, just because we're not raised to believe in such things doesn't mean they don't happen.
Many years ago I was scuba diving with a group off the coast of the Channel Islands west of the California coast. It's a gorgeous area and a diver’s delight with its lush, colorful, and abundant sea life. In this particular area of open ocean it's legal for divers on air-tanks to capture live abalone.
This was a stage in my life where I had successfully eliminated all animals from my diet - except for sea food - which is anything that lives in a shell, as well as squid, octopus, etc. It was the food most difficult for me to give up as I had an insatiable craving for the taste of it - especially when caught fresh and eaten within hours of its capture.
During one of numerous diving trips to the Channel Islands, I found myself at a depth of about 30 feet and temporarily separated from my diving partner. I was drawn to explore a large, rocky mound nearby - the kind of area that abalone are likely to be found. Sure enough, I spotted a huge abalone "grazing" on the side of the rocky surface.
When an abalone feels threatened it will instantly clamp its shell down hard onto the rock to protect its soft underside. Once they do this, it's nearly impossible to get them off. That’s why abalone divers carry a tool called an ab-iron: a long, flat, solid piece of metal used to pry them off rocks.
As I thrust my ab-iron hard underneath the abalone's shell I heard a tiny - but very distinct - scream. (again --- I swear I really did hear it!)
Stunned, I immediately withdrew the tool and stared in horror at the abalone. I felt terrible. Suddenly, I was jolted to the reality that - even though this creature didn't have a face like the other animals I had given-up eating – it was still a living, feeling, conscious creature: a creature that feels pain experiences fear, and fiercely protects itself from injury or death: a living being that wants to live!
Needless to say, that was the last time I went hunting for abalone - and never again have I eaten another creature.
As strange as it might seem, many indigenous tribes throughout the world speak of a time in the ancient past when humans and animals "spoke" to one another. These claims are also found in ancient texts. Likewise, it’s interesting that some of the most beloved tales of young and old alike are those in which animals talk, dress, and behave like humans.
Did you see Babe, the Pig? I loved that movie and laughed a lot. How about the story of Peter Rabbit? Winnie, the Pooh? Bambi? And what’s a current favorite with kids? Big Bear and the Big Blue House, where all the characters are animals and they sing and talk like humans.
Deep down inside, many of us would love to have clear and understandable communication with animals – especially with our beloved pets.
Personally, I feel that genuine communication with real animals isn't based on a verbal language – which is quite limiting at best. Rather, it's based on telepathy. Even more so, it's based on tel-empathy - a word that isn't found in the dictionary.....yet. Why do I say this? The following is a personal story that you may find intriguing.
The Language of Dolphins
by Paula Peterson
Earthcode International Network
Several years ago, I traveled from California with two friends on an adventure to the Puget Sound – an inland sea of great expanse between British Columbia and the state of Washington. It’s a magnificent, breathtaking area: hundreds of wind-swept, mountainous islands of pine forests range from the very small and uninhabitable to large enough for communities of one or two hundred families.
Our goal was to hire a guide to take us out in kayaks and get as close as possible to the great Orcas (a.k.a. Killer Whales) that live in this area. Since Orcas are not really whales at all and are actually a species of dolphin, we were quite excited about contacting these highly intelligent “humans-of-the-sea.”
Once we had our guide and were secured in our individual kayaks, we paddled off toward the deepest and widest part of the Puget Sound where the Orcas were the most frequently sighted. Since they travel in pods of five or more, there would be no trouble in spotting them once their stately dorsal fins rise above the water which happens often when they surface to breathe.
We had paddled for most of the afternoon without seeing any signs of them and were soon becoming discouraged. It was getting late and we would have to return to our departure point before losing the light of day.
But then, we suddenly see a pod of Orcas – their dorsal fins high and surging through the waters. They were moving in a direction that would take them right across our path - if we paddled faster.
With great excitement, we paddled with all the strength we had left to reach the spot where our paths will meet with the Orcas. Much to our dismay, the Orcas are swimming so fast and powerful that we soon see that we won't reach them in time. After all our planning, the long drive from California, and tiresome hours of paddling, we will have just missed them.
At that moment, I went deep, deep - and deeper still - into my heart and soul to feel the swell of love I had for these great creatures. Then silently, yet passionately, I inwardly pleaded, “Please, please, Orcas.... show yourselves to us........”
Instantly, a powerful surge of effervescent energy blasted through my entire body – every cell felt like fizzy, sparkling, bubbling light. Then one colossal Orca leaped completely out of the water, and then three Orcas leaped - in unison - completely out of the water! We were whoopin' and hoolerin' with glad tears in our eyes. Our guide was ecstatic, remarking that in all the years he'd been taking people out in kayaks to see the Orcas, he had never seen a display like that.
A rosy glow shone from my head to my toes for three days afterward. I felt wonderful! From that awesome experience, I realized that the key to communion – truly communicating – with the dolphins, Orcas, whales - and with all living creatures - is through the “language” of the heart.
The Dolphins Turn
After returning from the Caribbean with a group of friends and having a long wait at the international airport in Florida for our departure flight back to California, we decided to use the extra hours to go to the nearby amusement park and aquarium. We immediately went to the Performing Dolphins pool – a huge tank that was several levels deep. At each level and around the full diameter of the tank, were large, thick observation windows which gave tourists a good view of the dolphins under water.
There were crowds of people at the windows that day, all gawking and chattering with excitement. I had separated from my friends for a few moments to savor more time in watching the dolphins. While standing there at one of the windows, one dolphin abruptly stops at the window right in front of me, faces me, and starts moving his mouth wildly as if he's trying to talk.
At first, I find it amusing that out of all these people looking through the windows, this dolphin is picking me out. I think to myself, Ah – just a coincidence, I'm sure. With that thought, the dolphin immediately leaves, swims around for a short while, and then parks himself right in front of me again to look me square in the eye while moving his mouth as if speaking.
Whoa! I quickly realize that my heart is pounding loud and fast. What's going on here? Surely this is only another coincidence. He leaves again, only to come right back a third time and goes through the same motions. By this time, I'm having a "religious, mystical experience" - my heart is throbbing, my eyes are swelling with tears, and a wonderful, warm, and tingly energy is flowing from my chest and throughout my body. The dolphin swims off again, so I decide to dash off to grab one of my friends. "Hey, you've got to come and check out this dolphin!"
After blurting out a quick report of what happened, we both wait for the next exciting visit. We waited and waited and waited. The dolphin didn’t come back and nothing happened (by that time I'm feeling pretty stupid). My friend gets bored, flashes a courtesy smile, and walks off to catch up with the others.
There I am, feeling silly and foolish –when here comes that dolphin again. He stops to face me, we have eye contact, and he goes through all the same motions again. I finally get it: our shared experience was meant for me and me only. After that, I had a telepathic connection with that dolphin that lasted for weeks.
Once back home in California, I would think of that dolphin in the huge tank, his eye looking into mine, searching. At night, I could feel that tingly energy again and instant thoughts of him (or her) would flood my mind. I never felt that he had complaints about his confinement – although, there seemed to be a somewhat anxious quality to his energy. I would imagine so, after having been stolen from his home in the sea and no longer having the whole vast ocean to swim in.
Instead of complaining, he seemed to be far more interested in communicating with me. It was a connection that was without words: a communication that formed imagery and sensation. It was like a “blending” with his being – a real communion. I “felt” his thoughts. He insisted that he knew me and that I must remember who I truly am and where I really came from.
The connection transcended distance. I felt dreamy and other-worldly during and after each tele-empathic communication. Then over the weeks it faded as I became more distracted by the necessities of living life in the modern world. I don’t know what happened to him. Dolphins don’t live long in captivity. But perhaps that is a blessing.
It was not long afterward that I let go of many conditions in my life that were confining to my spirit and my sense of freedom: people who had unreasonable expectations of me; a surplus of responsibilities that robbed me of time for myself; belongings that did not contribute to inner happiness and only weighed me down; and a geographical area that wasn’t nurturing to my soul.
I left it all behind and moved to a beautiful little coastal town, where I see and smell the ocean every day. From then on, I’ve been deeply content to live a very simple life where the only things I own of any significant monetary value are a car, a computer, and my clothes.
Extraordinary events with dolphins, Orcas, and with many other animals and pets throughout my life-time have taught me something very important - that all living things understand and respond to the language of the heart: plants, stones, water, the earth - even the elements. That's why certain indigenous tribes and tribal shamans could - and still do - often control the weather and influence animal behavior, as well as knowing which plants are good for certain ailments.
I remember hiking at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a friend when suddenly I heard the words, “MINT!” I was startled, only to hear it again, “MINT!” My friend didn't hear it at all and kept on walking ahead up the trail. I stopped to stare at a bushy little plant where the voice seemed to come from. It didn't look like a mint plant to me: in fact, it didn't look familiar to me at all. I moved in for a closer look then heard it whisper, “mint.” I took a piece of it into my mouth. Sure enough, it tasted just like mint. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Then there was the time that I passed by that big tree that yelled, "SPEARMINT!"................
©by Paula Peterson 2002
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