San Francisco & the Story of a Grateful Whale

I am heading to San Francisco in several hours for book events (info. below) and received one of those mass forwarded emails we all get. I rarely pay attention to these kinds of emails, but this one I find particularly beautiful and moving for various reasons, and as I was thinking about it, I realized tomorrow I will be driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. By myself. For the very first time. And I will think of whales, freedom and gratitude.

You never know where epiphanies will come from — even from a mass forwarded email you accidentally read in the mess of your inbox — you never know…it’s the beauty and the mystery.

If you read a recent front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who 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. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. 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, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

Feb 20, Sunday at 4pm
Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista, Corte Madera, CA  94925-1145

Feb 24, Thursday at 8pm
Fields Books
1419 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

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