Dana and Michael got up early each morning during the Baton Rouge Currach Building Project. But this day was different. It was the morning after the project. Instead of the familiar sights and sounds of the boat building workshop, the two barefoot explorers walked out of the hotel and onto the soft white sands of Perdido Key to greet the new day.
The sky was just beginning to turn pink when Dana announced she was going to meditate. Michael had learned to accommodate her sudden meditative urges. But this morning he felt annoyed. He wanted to explore the beach and watch the sun come up with her. She wanted to sit on the sand, with her eyes closed and meditate. And that’s exactly what she did.
Michael walked along the shoreline feeling a bit forlorn. He looked back at Dana as the first rays of sunlight revealed two bottle-nose dolphins swimming inside a clear green breaker, right in front of her. He yelled at her to open her eyes, but the breeze blew his shouts away.
The two dolphins either heard his shouts or saw him jumping and waving his arms. The next moment they were right in front of him. He reached down, picked up a small clam shell, held it between his thumbs the way Jonathan had taught him to do with an acorn cap, and sent an extremely loud, high-pitched whistle out to the dolphins. To his surprise and delight, they whistled back.
After a minute or so the two dolphins swam away. Michael, however, continued to whistle with different clam shells he found on the beach. Maybe the dolphins would return? As he scanned the surf he began to wonder what other types of shells the skill would work with, and what other kinds of animals might respond to their sounds.
Dana stood up and waved at him. He ran to her, like a kid with a new toy, and yelled “Listen to this!” He made an ear ringing whistle sound with a small clam shell. Dana winced and covered her ears with her hands. She tried to make a whistle sound with the clam shell, but couldn’t get it to work. Then it was time for breakfast.
Michael thought a lot about the two dolphins appearing in front of Dana that morning. He knew that dolphin sensibilities are different than humans. If the dolphins hadn’t appeared, he never would have picked up a small clam shell and discovered it can be used as a whistle. All of his future discoveries, concerning the relationships between seashell spirals and music, began with this one event. And he never got angry with Dana again, whenever she needed or wanted to meditate.