December 2014 – a year that I started my pilgrimage. The word “pilgrimage” often brings to mind holy places such as Mecca or places of worships. But pilgrimage to me is connecting to the Divine through his unmuted creation; nature. What initially started as a trip to visit my friend in Australia later became a soul-searching trip of my life. The universe takes you by surprise that way doesn’t it? It was then that I realized my love for animals and that I connect best with the Divine through them. And since then, I make it a point to visit Australia every year – exploring nature at its best – at different states in Australia. Each allowing me to interact with the animals in their own natural habitat.
The morning was simply magic that day. Contrary to the weather forecast, the sun blazed and the wind was simply in a playful mood; in the perfect mood to play the hair of those with touched. I woke up earlier than usual and made my way down to the harbor. As I walked towards the meeting point, I felt my heart in my throat – I was excited for this was my first attempt at interacting with animals in their natural habitat Right there, I saw a couple of crew members, marking attendance of myself and other excited travelers.
Waves of Adelaide’s seas were music to my ears – choppy yet calm, and I found myself getting lost in the rhythm of the sea. The air reeked of sea salt as the wind blew stronger and stronger- and I felt myself relaxing a bit more. I thought that its not often to enjoy such a cold weather (10degrees). We waited enthusiastically for the call to jump into the water after putting on the diving suits. I was excited and looked out for the dolphins – as the time ticked, I found myself growing a bit impatient.
When the crew member sighted a few wild dolphins in the turquoise waters, we orderly slipped into the waters, hanging on closely to the rope, attached to the boat. Surprisingly, the water was in fact, not that cold. I started to see a pod of dolphins approaching our direction.
I struggled to stay afloat in the open water and trying to adjust to all new sensations within me. Yet, these God’s creation made me feel familiar. One of them, made an eye contact with me, pinging me with her sonar. Her large eyes stared into mine. It felt like time has stalled, stopped to let me enjoy the magnificent moment. I sensed that these grey creatures are slowly checking me out, but I had no time to wonder what they thought of me. As a couple of them swam passed me, I felt their souls – friendly, patient, altruistic. Most importantly, I felt connected to our forgotten roots in this earthly life.
When I emerged from the sea, dragged myself back aboard the boat, trying to get a grip on reality. I was humbled and amazed at how powerful animals are and how different their world is from ours. It was like I had forgotten my whole life and found myself again.
Personally, I return and explore the animal- human journeys quite regularly ever since. I find it an essential requirement for living my life fully. It keeps the earthly cobwebs clear, and ignites the passions within me. It reminds me how beautiful Earth is, of the vastness of The Universe, how to celebrate life, success and failures.