there is a spot on san juan island boasting the best odds in the world to see a whale from land. that’s where we found ourselves labor day weekend with christian’s mom.
we visited the whale museum to prepare ourselves. we read up on marine mammals, ooed and awed over the newest orca babies, learned how to differentiate between dolphins & porpoises, saw the genealogy of J, K and L pods, read about the harsh reality of tracking and tried to unlearn about the unfortunate existence of whale parasites.
standing under a giant whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling i did what anyone would do – i imagined jonah inside its belly. christian brushed up on his whale calls and we quickly exited the museum.
my expectations at the beginning of the weekend in the whale spotting department had been pretty low. i was just excited to explore a part of the northwest i had not yet been to. but after paying our $10 park fee and walking along the rocky cliff shoreline, the lapping waves did something to me. i was determined to see a baby calf with its mom or a pod. squinting into the sun, i began scanning the water with a concentration reminiscent of my lifeguarding days.
and then we waited. we had the desire, ability and time, but this would be a game of patience. much like another wait.
our new house has five bedrooms, we have no children; two facts that don’t seem correlated. yet somehow it is emphasized by neighbors, friends, even strangers. i have begun to examine off-handed comments i make. i probably wouldn’t have realized something like, “gee whiz, FIVE bedrooms? you better get started on filling them up!” would be hurtful. i know better now.
this july was a repeat of last july. in my non-stop, all day zombie sickness i tried to survive and a part of me hoped. but i didn’t let myself get excited. the night before my second doctor’s appointment, the anxiety began. in the waiting room i shook uncontrollably. something did not feel right. i was scared as the doctor searched and searched for the heartbeat and then, i just stared at the ceiling. despite her attempts to nervously say, “these are sometimes hard to find.” i knew it wouldn’t be found.
and so we wait.
we didn’t see any whales that day but the following weekend our friends, standing by the same lighthouse, would see dozens. an unbelievable, slightly miraculous thing. sometimes i am happy for my friends. sometimes i am jealous. other times i am completely sad over their good fortune.
this week, after talking for 40 minutes to a new doctor, he gently said, “if you and your husband pray, i would suggest now is a time to pray.” something about his suggestion, unexpected, uttered in a sterile room, pierced me. we will wait on the lord.
“…and thus i will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.” ether 1:43