It was just before dawn and there was some light in the east and quite a bit coming from the moon setting in the west, truly a magical time of day. The black eyes were like polished marble, the whiskers were stiff just like they draw in a cartoon and his expression was clearly one of amusement. Too me he looked beautiful, friendly and certainly interested. I wonder how I looked to him? My skin was the same shinny black color as his and I had a hood on as well; I might have been mistaken for a relative if his eyesight was bad. I certainly wasn’t as comfortable or as coordinated as my new friend and probably looked like I needed some help. How it seemed to him I can’t really say but as he floated just 10 yards off the shore I couldn’t help but wonder why he was there and what he found interesting in me.
As I entered the water and began to paddle out he continued to watch me. I angled a little off to the side to avoid disturbing him. He simply rotated his head as I moved by him; he was practically close enough to touch. I said hello and he wrinkled his nose in response. I’m sure we were bonding in some way.
I continued on expecting him to duck under water and disappear but instead he turned and swam a long with me. I began to talk to him, kind of in that voice adults use to talk to kids. I even asked him his name. I wanted so badly for him to respond but he just swam along next to me with his head out of the water and turned towards me. I continued to talk to him and asked him how the surf was, you know, small talk to help start a conversation like when you’re at a party with people you don’t know. Finally I reached the line-up and stopped my paddling, he ducked under and then quickly emerged on the other side of my board up by the nose. I’m sure there was something between us.
I let a few waves go by as I enjoyed my time with this little seal. I can’t put into words the feelings that I had, they all seem to fall so short of capturing the experience. Eventually a wave came by and I caught it and wouldn’t you know it so did he. I lost sight of him but when I got back out to the line-up again he popped his head up and we smiled at each other, no longer did I need to say anything. We just hung out for a while until a couple of other surfers who were paddling out closed in on us. At that time he seemed to look at me one last time, wrinkled his nose and ducked away.
There is something about being in a relationship that feels good in a way like no other. The time spent together in simple activity, enjoying the company of each other brings a sense of connection and a subtle euphoric feeling. As I sat in the water thinking about my new friend I realized that the feeling I had was the same as the ones I get when I do similar things with my wife, kids and friends. It’s a feeling that comes when I don’t have to be anything or anybody. When we can just be.