Mother Gray & Baby

This picture fills me with guilt for being human.

As late as 1975, we (American whalers) were still killing Gray whales. And it's not as if whaling has stopped. It hasn't. Iceland, Norway, Japan. I won't go there. No point in messing with my blood pressure.

This picture, taken in San Ignacio lagoon, Baja, is more meaningful to me than having a new mother, full or pride and adoration, place her baby in my arms. It's closer to how I feel when someone lets me hold a new puppy or kitten. I'm instantly smittened, and begin to worry about its future, and if this person can be trusted with a new life.

I saw my first whale of the season a couple days ago. I'm not sure if it was a Gray or even which direction it was headed. Just glimpsed the plume of mist as she/he surfaced for a breath and, as always happens, I found myself thinking I might have touched that very whale. If I did, I hope it remembers that moment, or another's hand reaching out, as I did, with one wish: Stay safe.