Stories that Matter

Whale Watching


When we built the house on the ocean, people said, “Oh, my goodness, you’ll get to see the whales go by! How lucky are you?”

I smiled and thought to myself, yes, that would nice. We got binoculars. And I began to watch for whales.

That was five years ago.

I have yet to see a whale. Just one. One would be nice. Really. Is it too much to ask? Because I know other people see them. Just driving by South Shore on any random day during the season when the whales swim by. People see them. And me, living right there on the ocean…staring at the blue waves until my vision blurs, nothing. Nada. Not one single freaking whale. In five years.

It’s become kind of a joke around here. We’ll be sitting at the table and my husband will point excitedly toward the window and yell, “WHALE!” Whether he’s ever really seen one or not remains a mystery, because I don’t think he’d tell me if he really did. And I probably wouldn’t believe him either way.

I know they’re out there. They’re probably swimming around, making faces at me and blowing through their blow holes. And they dive deep the minute I step out onto the back patio with my binoculars. One would think, after five years, I’d give up the quest. But I’m an English major. I’ve read Moby Dick. A few times.

I won’t give up. I can’t. It’s tempting. Tempting to avert my eyes and walk away from that window. But see, the thing is, I still believe. I believe that one day, maybe soon, maybe not, I will see those whales. And the wait will have been worth it.

So for now, I suppose it’s not so important is it, whether I see those blasted whales or not…what matters is that I show up. That I keep looking. And hold on to the faith that one day, I will be rewarded.

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  1. Jennifer Zarifeh Major on January 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Okay, fly to Vancouver.
    Take the ferry to Victoria, and BAM!! Whale central!!!!

    Or…set up a whale-cam on your deck?

    This was a fun read, and oh so very true!!

  2. Cathy West on January 31, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Yes, Jennifer. I could fly to Vancouver. But that would defeat the purpose wouldn’t it? Kind of like…erm…oh, never mind. I won’t say it. Too much of a maelstrom would arise. 🙂

  3. Beth K. Vogt on January 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Oh, I love this blog post for so, so many reasons.
    Because there’s the decision to keep on hoping, keep on believing …
    the choice to keep looking for the good things, the elusive magical moments that make life … breathlessly alive.
    They’re out there — even when we can’t see them.

    • Cathy West on January 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      I have missed you!! 🙂

  4. Elaine Stock on January 31, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Yes! I’m going to continue to show up and watch for those whales too!

    As always, your words are a true uplift!

  5. Denise Morgan on February 1, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Keep the faith! The whales ARE out there. Yes. Truly. Maybe not where you can see them, but they ARE out there! Keep looking! Keep the binoculars (and the camera!) handy !
    You will see them. Eventually. I hope . . . 🙂

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