The Natural Contemplative
Digby the Whale
A story by the Rev. Shirely Harris Crockett
Part of our vacation was spent in Nova Scotia, and one of the things we saw in Nova Scotia was... a WHALE! ... Digby the Whale. The town of Digby is near where I saw the whale. He lives in the cold waters of the Bay of Fundy in the summer and in the warm waters of the Caribbean in the winter. He has a very quiet, very peaceful life eating about a truckload of fish every day and swimming beneath the surface of the water -- except when he comes up for air. And what does he do when he comes up for air?... Yes! He makes a water spout that goes "WHOOOOOOSH!"
One day Digby was swimming along in the ocean and he heard an incredible noise. "RUMMMMM! RUMMMM! RUMMMMMM!" on one side and "RUMMMMM! RUMMMM! RUMMMMMM!" on the other side as well.
"What could that be?" he thought.
He came up to the surface to take a look and on each side of him there was a boat, and each boat was filled with people. They were "whale watching." And they were very happy to see Digby come to the surface, because they had been out there on the water for a couple of hours and they had not seen anything that looked like a whale. So they started to get out their cameras and binoculars, and they got all excited and started screaming and shouting, "Look, there's a whale!"
And Digby thought, "Oh! I can't stand all this noise!" and he went down under the water again as fast as he possibly could. The hullabaloo going on in the boats combined with the smell and the noise of the engines all terrified him. Poor Digby! And so he dove deep to get away from the terror and he swam away fast (whales can swim very fast despite the fact that they can weigh up to 60,000 pounds!!!).
Only after he had swum away from all the boats could he be quiet again and hear the other whales making soft humming noises (did you know that a whale in the Bay of Fundy can hear another whale making humming noises on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? Their ears are that finely tuned, but only under water).
Whales are probably happiest when they are experiencing deep calling to deep in the quiet splendor of God's ocean and they are not really meant to be in the midst of the hullabaloo of human restlessness and noise. And so in the quiet of the ocean he sighed a big sigh -- he was so content.
Like Digby the Whale, I think that we too are meant to live with the deep in us quietly calling to the deep which is God, and not always be around the hullabaloo and the noise and the restlessness that is all around us in the world. So take time this week to listen for God's sounds and messages. Deep calling to deep is the way of peace for our soul and spirit.