Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Story of Hope, Courage and Gratitude

My first thoughts for the blog was an iconic Thanksgiving art image. Then I received an email that changed my mind. It shifted my thoughts to reflecting on generosity of spirit and gratitude.

Often we remember the worst of the news. Stories of greed, malice, deception and all manner of cruelty that frightens us and keeps us from trusting and hoping. Then, along comes a story of such bravery, courage and gratitude that we are uplifted.

The email was about a 50-ton female humpback whale who became unmercifully entwined in long, heavy crab pot lines in San Francisco bay. She could barely keep her blowhole above the water line. A fishing boat captain saw her plight and called for a rescue team.

The rescuers could tell that the ropes were cutting in so deeply there was blubber in the water. The divers held out little hope for her survival. However, that little spark of hope was just enough for them to risk getting in the water with her.

They knew full well the damage she could do to the divers if she became frightened by their actions. The divers needed time to cut through heavy ropes entangling her dorsal and tail fins and to remove the ropes from her mouth and baleen. (Being near her mouth involved working right in front of her fist-sized eye.) She watched and stayed calm. She knew. She understood.

I can't say how she knew given the history of hunting the humpbacks to near extinction, but she did. Perhaps it was the way the divers approached her. They entered her realm with kindness and compassion - wishing only to help. Maybe she sensed their meaning.

When free, she circled and approached each diver gently nudging them. Yes, she knew.

What if we approached life with kindness and compassion towards all beings? And what if we remembered to show sincere gratitude for who and/or what we've been given?

May every day be a day of Thanksgiving!

(By request,this is a reprint of 2010 Thanksgiving)


  1. It's a wonderful story. Glad you reprinted it. JG

  2. I love this story! E

  3. That is a beautiful story. I didn't see it last year, but its message remains true to the season. Thank you for sharing. I have sent the link on to a few people who will appreciate it. Ave

  4. A wonderful story to read again. Thanks for capturing the Thanksgiving spirit of gratitude!Leslie

  5. That whale thing is wonderful. We are wishing you a fulfilling Thanksgiving. MAR

  6. Thank you for sharing this. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  7. I enjoyed this story alot, and have passed it on.

    I wish you well, and hope you have a wonderful New Year.

    Maria Simon