We went to Cancun for our honeymoon, and we did everything we could do while we were there……from being in one of the night-time shows at the stadium (definitely a story for another time) to swimming with the dolphins and everything in between. And though my honeymoon was extremely memorable, swimming with the dolphins was something I will NEVER forget.
When we got to the aquarium where the dolphins are housed, we were given a briefing on what would take place and how to properly handle it. I was so excited I couldn't stand it. We sat, (im)patiently through our instructions, put on our life preservers (what on EARTH would we need THOSE for??) and got into the salt water pool that held the beautiful creatures that changed our life.
As we submerged ourselves into the water, a dolphin swam up to us. If you’ll remember, beforehand I was so excited at the thought of being in the water with them. When they swam up to us, it was one of the most intimidating feelings I had ever had. They are large, to say the least. And you are reminded that if they chose to, they could cause serious damage to your person. But sensing my trepidation, they went from the fast approach to one so gentle that you immediately knew their instinct is impeccable. One actually toyed with my emotions a bit and swam around me more than a few times, as though circling its prey! (Sick sense of humor those dolphins have)
When I reached out to feel the dolphin, my expectation was a silky smooth texture because of how glossy and pretty their skin is. But it wasn’t silky at all; in fact, it was a very rubbery-like texture. Even under the water, my hand skipped along the skin of the dolphin. I also noticed, though, how strong and muscular this mammal was. There was no slimy, fishy feel to it. I instantly felt so small and was reminded that this was a creation of greatness.
Next we were to “ride” the dolphin. How this works is as you tread water, the dolphin comes up behind you, sticks his snout under your feet and propels you through the water to where your body actually looks as though you are gliding across the top of the aquarium water.
My turn. Here I go.
I feel the dolphin’s snout under the arch of my foot. OUCH. It was worse than wearing six-inch heels for eight hours! (Just another reminder how majestic and powerful these creatures are.) Off I go through the water. At the end of the pool, the dolphin projects you through the air with one fell swoop of its nose, turns around and heads back to the other end of the pool to pick up the next passenger. Adrian was next. I moved to the side, anxious to watch my husband experience the incredible moment I had just experienced. “Wow!” I thought as he passed. “Did I look that awesome??”
I can tell you I did not. When our time with the dolphins was up, we of course went to the photo shop and purchased the pictures and video they take of your time with them. The video brought tears to my eyes. They set the entire time to Enya playing in the background, splicing it together to show you kissing the dolphin, swimming with the dolphin, and all the while adding slow motion to the mix for a real tug-at-your heart feeling. BUT – in both the pictures and the video, all you see of me riding the dolphin’s snout is my body smacking the water like a skipping rock and face-planting at the finish line. ADRIAN, on the other hand, looked like King of the Ocean! He might as well have bridled the dolphin and worn a crown. He came out of the water on the snout of the dolphin, arms spread to either side, water beads collected on his tan face, wet hair blowing in the wind of the aerodynamics of the ride, and was catapulted from the snout of the dolphin into the air, landing without so little as a splash. I’m surprised he didn’t do a pirouette, for cryin’ out loud. He did amazing and I bumbled through.
remember it fondly, though. Truthfully, I can say that realizing we are not the only puzzling creatures created with a purpose had a profound effect on me. I can say that I was reminded how big God truly is. I can say that it was a defining moment for me.
As you submerge yourself into each day, intimidated because of every new experience……remind yourself that you are a creation of greatness. When life is not silky smooth, but rather a little rubbery - when you feel small – like a little fish in a big pond – remember to draw from the Greatness that can lift you up and propel you through the water. You may look at others and think they are sailing, making it look easy when you feel like you’re bumbling through, scared you’ll land flat on your face. But remember that those moments are given to us to learn our purpose and be stronger. KNOW you will look back on it fondly, because you’ll realize those are the defining moments that have brought you through to the other end of the ride.