The Seal Cave
It was many years ago, and I still remember it so clearly.
My husband Mike who was my husband then, and I went on my father in laws boat. We were sailing around the South Catalina Island, one of California's Channel Islands.
We anchored, the boat, to enjoy lunch and then Mike and I took our kayaks out on the water. We kayaked quite far out, and we saw seals laying on the rocks sleeping in the hot sun.
We kayaked over and saw a cave , we knew it was a seal cave. Curious we kayaked over to the opening; Mike started to kayak though the opening , feeling apprehensive, I said, "I don't think we should be going in there.
He went in, I followed , we paddled very quietly , so as to not make any startled sounds . The air was cold and damp, and smelled of rot and decay, it smelled of death. There were hundreds of seals. I looked all around , and I saw, there were seals very old, their skin peeling off, gray whiskers, laying on the ledges of the cave moaning. I whispered to mike, "lets get out of here." We very carefully turned our kayaks around , ( I didn’t want to flip over in a seal cave!). As we paddled out I saw young seals diving up out of the water and throwing fish on the ledge to the older seals . All around splashing and bobbing , the younger seals feeding the older seals. My heart was filled with compassion and the beauty of what I saw. I felt like an invader, trespassing into their sanctuary .
Humanity can always learn from animals . We owe a debt to the old, who gave and gave. Who loved us and said " do something that makes you happy." Experience teaches us lessons . I learned a lesson that day. I can still close my eyes and hear the barking of the seals across the wide blue water.