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Stingray Lessons, or How to Clean it Up~

July 29, 2012

I love working at Stingray Bay – the rays, the water. I knew they can hear our vibrations through their skin (they’re a relative of the sharks), but until the other day, I didn’t really GET IT.
A co-worker mentioned that they hear our Heartbeat.
Why I didn’t put two and two together is neither here nor there, but what happened afterwards . . . .
Now I put my hand in the water and watch. I am not thinking as we usually do – my mind wanders gently with the waves of the water. And I see the graceful rays swimming.
round & round
round & round
waterfall sounds, warm water on my hand and arms.
And then they come. They swim in a group and up to my hand. Some of them hover as I gently touch their backs, delighting in the feel of their skin and the honor of their stay.
Some of them are swimming on the bottom and deliberately arc up to my hand, slowing to a float-by before diving back to the bottom as they reach the end of the touch.

And the children! They flock around me and demand “Why are they coming to YOU?”. So I tell them. I say that the rays hear the hearbeat, and when we are screaming or splashing, the rays think there is danger. When we are afraid, our hearts beat faster and the rays think there is danger. Rays don’t want danger, so they don’t come near.
It is Amazing how quiet it gets right then. I look down the line and I see children who were moments before squealing and splashing now all calm with hands held in the water.
And the rays do not dive back to the bottom after passing my hand. They go to each hand – my adult sized one and each small one by my side.
THEY CAME TO ME!! cry the children.

I smile and say yes, yes they did. Now let’s see if they’ll come again. What do we need to do? I ask.

‘Be calm and let them know we love them’ say the children.

And that is how I am learning to be alive, one stingray moment at a time.


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