#NewThis Day Writing From My Photo Stream
Late afternoon, I walk to stretch and breathe along Bayshore Boulevard, still in Tampa, the third and last day of AWP, the writing conference I'm attending, and I go directly toward green, drawn to a tree with broad branches and leaves overlooking the Hillsborough River. And then, along the bay, I walk the long stretch of sidewalk busy with bikes and walkers. A helicopter lifts off from Tampa General. The water laps calmly beside me. And then I notice a rippling line of water, something is disturbing the surface from below, and I hope and wonder, is it a dolphin?
Soon enough, I see a fin. I keep walking, smiling, hoping for another surfacing, a better view. I see the dolphin ahead in the distance, surfacing, submerging in quick flashes, too quick to catch with my camera. Soon enough, I turn around, heading back to the conference center. I hear a splash right beside me - it's gone before I catch sight of it. But I watch the water, see the rippling, keep my camera ready. He, or she, is up ahead, dipping and swimming, I catch only a fin here and there. Until, suddenly, the dolphin is leaping up out of the water with its catch in its mouth, and the fish, still alive, is thrashing, it's yellow fins bright. This is a stunning development for me - my free show, a wonderful joy, not for the fish, but for my dolphin friend and me.
I'm grateful for this gush of spontaneous joy, this dramatic moment I never imagined when I set out for my walk that I would witness. I've caught a moment of exquisite beauty in nature. And, there's an extra happiness for me. The last time I took a picture of a dolphin it was dead, freshly washed ashore on the beach in Chilmark, on Vineyard Sound, where I walked every morning last August on Martha's Vineyard. So, here is one beautiful dolphin alive and thriving, and I feel, for this tiny moment of the day, it's greeting me.
All photos and text copyright 2018 by Kelly DuMar