Call of the Dolphins
Yesterday I experienced a coincidence which I have since decided was “a sign”. Yesterday was the anniversary of my Aunt Bonnie’s death from cancer six years ago, a date which is probably remembered by almost every member of my family. Though I have hundreds of wonderful memories of Aunt Bonnie while she was alive, I have to admit that when I am reminded of her now I mostly think about her tombstone and the lesson it has taught me.
You see, Aunt Bonnie had a dream of swimming with dolphins. She really, really wanted to swim with dolphins. But she never got around to doing it. I’m not sure why not. Maybe she was too busy or thought it was too expensive or figured she’d do it the next year. But it turned out there wasn’t a next year for Aunt Bonnie. And so she never got to swim with those dolphins. In the end, my uncle had dolphins engraved on her tombstone. What else could he do? Anyway, this whole tombstone story has left a huge impression on me: swim with the damned dolphins while you can! I realize that not everyone wants to literally swim with dolphins — but don’t we all have our equivalent of a dolphin dream?
So here’s where the weird coincidence comes in. Yesterday I decided to unpack Moving Box #32, which has remained all taped up and sitting on our bedroom floor since we moved last October (it’s a good thing I don’t move very often — I’m terrible at it). Inside, I found one of those little treasures that makes unpacking almost exciting: a notebook from when I lived in Tokyo, dated 1993. A time capsule!
I learned a few things about my life in 1993:
1) I was very concerned about money. The pages are filled with calculations and estimates for my savings account.
2) I ordered a lot of clothes from the U.S. because I couldn’t find any to fit me in Japan.
3) I was obsessed with traveling. I wanted to go to Tahiti and New Zealand and India and Antarctica and Mexico. And guess what else I wanted to do, back in 1993? I wanted to go to Hawaii and swim with dolphins….
How could I have forgotten this? In the years since I scribbled in that notebook I HAVE been to Tahiti and New Zealand and India and Antarctica and Mexico. I even lived in Hawaii for a year but I never thought about swimming with dolphins! I cannot remember even thinking about a dolphin. Well, it just so happens that I am scheduled to fly to Hawaii on March 3rd, just a few days from now — though I had no plans to swim with dolphins — until yesterday, when I found that notebook and remembered Aunt Bonnie’s tombstone on the anniversary of her death. So thank you, Aunt Bonnie, for that gentle reminder…
At 2 p.m. on Monday, March 16th, I will be swimming with dolphins in Honolulu. I’ll let you know how it feels…