The facts most astounding and most real are never communicated man to man

If the day and night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal - that is your success.  All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause to momentarily bless yourself.   The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated.  We easily come to doubt if they exist.  We soon forget them.  They are the highest reality.  Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man.  The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.  It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden, as excerpted from Higher Laws

The whale’s sonar began to click through my body. Click-click-click.

The whale’s sonar began to click through my body. Click-click-click.

sperm-whale

“I’d been fascinated—obsessed, really—with whales since I was a boy…It wasn’t till the year 2000 that I came face-to-face with the real animals, on a whale-watching tour off the coast of Cape Cod. Nothing compares with the sight of a 50-foot, 50-ton humpback breaching a dozen yards off your boat, surrounded by a halo of glistening sea spray…

…The water was calm and the animals were socializing at the surface. There was no time to put on my wet suit; I jammed on my fins, pulled on a mask and snorkel and squeaked over the side of boat—and into the profound…Suddenly, there they were, only a bus-length away: more than a dozen leviathans. My vision was wall-to-wall whales. I could feel my heart beating hard against my rib cage. The largest of the animals detached itself from the pod and began to swim directly at me…

…The whale kept on coming. “OK,” I thought. “It’s either going to ram me with that enormous head—or it’s going to open its mouth at the last moment.”

…But just as I was reconciling myself to the inevitable, I felt—I didn’t hear—the whale’s sonar begin to click through my body. Click-click-click. Through my skull, through my sternum, its exquisitely accurate echo location scanning me like an MRI…The whale came within an arm’s reach. I could have touched it, but I knew that wasn’t part of the contract. It turned on its side and looked me right in the eye. It was a look of sentience, and of comprehension…

…Then the whale dove into its domain, from the blue into the black below. I laughed to myself, out of relief or ecstasy. That night, when I closed my eyes, the whale swam into my head. It’s still there now.

~ Dr. Hoare’s full article: Swimming With Sperm Whales in the Atlantic Ocean