Day-off extravaganzas normally end in an unexpected surprise.
Fall is in the air, and the brisk clean air of Japan is a nice refresher for me. People bustled around my street, setting up for a late afternoon autumn festival full of their handcrafted foods and trinkets. It was one of those days where you wake up, run to the window, throw the curtains open, and instantly get blinded by the bright sun … and smacked in the face by the welcoming smells of fall.
It was going to be a good day.
Suddenly the van door slammed shut, and I was on my way. The highway was clear of traffic, and the oceanic and mountainous views were breathtaking. To where? I don’t know the actual Japanese name, nor do I know the direction – it was just a quaint little place I call Dolphin Island.
If you can’t get excited to go explore crazy marine life in the ocean, then you ain’t livin’! I could barely sit still. I was like a hamster, stuck in one of those plastic balls, running in circles and circles helplessly thinking the faster I run, the faster I would reach my destination. My goPro was fully charged and clinched in one fist while my other hand was in constant motion pointing out God’s creation like I was dancing to “YMCA” by The Village People.
Before I knew it, we had arrived at our destination.
The mob of people that were on this island totaled 7 or 8 (including workers). It was like a private VIP party with dolphins!
I strolled the boardwalks in awe of the beautiful creatures surrounding me. When I would approach them,
they would display doos and sweet swims all along the boardwalk in anticipation of me throwing them a fish. There were different types of dolphins, seals, penguins, and thousands of big, little, and mixed fish living in this bay of Dolphin Island.
I do believe that the girl dolphins thought I was cute, due to the fact that they kept rising to the surface to stare and smile at me. Either that, or they liked the lady with the fish bucket behind me. I prefer to go with the first observation.
After my stroll along the sea was complete, you could find me in the back of the employee’s building squeezing into an “Ssmedium” wet suit and a kid’s size pair of aqua shoes. I had to waddle out in a slouched position to be sure to not rip the suit if I stood upright.
Now, it was about time to make the plunge with my new friends.
The water was cold, but my excitement was too high to even care about the colder temperatures. As I jumped in, the dolphin greeted me with a nice nudge to the chest. If I was swimming with bears, I figured this would have been considered a greeting of a great “bear hug.” But since dolphins have no arms . . . I get a friendly nudge.
It was as if I was playing a scene left out of the movie Finding Nemo. I hung all over the dolphin’s fins as it sliced through the water carrying me alongside. Was this real life? I figured if a mermaid starting tugging at my pants, then it was definitely a dream – but the mermaids never came and the excitement continued.
Soon the dolphin and I had our share of fun, and it was time to say goodbye. I plunged under water to take one last “selfie” with my new friend and left its side with a nice hug. That experience was one for the grandkids. As I began to walk away into the sunset, the dolphin rolled to one side and slowly began flapping his fin, waving farewell to his one and only friend on this day! It was like a scene in a chick flick that leaves every girl teary eyed.
The sun began to set as I left the island. The wind blew me to the top of a local mountain where I could look out over the southern part of Japan. There, I was able to sit and reflect on my day-off extravaganza.
Sometimes in life, we get stuck in our own comfortable little bubble and forget that there is a whole unique world beyond to explore around you and under you. Your world is only as big as you want it to be. Open your eyes and enjoy the life God has blessed you with!