Dolphin Story

I met a guy the other day who had an interesting story about a dolphin.

He grew up as a surfer/swimmer/lifeguard in Southern California. Life happened- he blinked and he found himself married and working 70 hours a week as a very successful stockbroker in LA. Big parties, big money, drugs, fake friends, the entire package.

One day he woke up so sad and sick that he realized this was not how he wanted to live, not how he wanted to be. He gave up the job, which quickly led to the loss of the money and lifestyle and, subsequently, the wife.

He drifted. At one point he was a river guide in Wyoming who got into riding this big river wave. He was depressed though and kept doing self destructive things to fill the void where his former life and wife had been. He still partied too much, still used some, and took extreme physical risks.

He ended up in Kona, Hawaii. The lifeless black lava rock seemed like a physical manifestation of his broken soul. He wound up in a state park. An older hippy woman approached him and said, “You’re here to be healed by the dolphins?'”. He replied that he wasn’t sick. She said, “Sure you are. Your heart.” She pointed to his chest briefly and walked off saying, “Go swim.”

He swam out about 200 yards from shore. He said he was in such a dark place that he considered swimming out so far that he couldn’t get back. Suddenly, a huge shape moved next to him in the water. He jolted straight up and down thinking it was a shark. Two dolphins circled him and one came right up to him looking him in the eye. It was vertical in the water. He felt the deep bass feeling of being blasted by its sonar. He froze. Then the big dolphin dropped in the water and blasted him again in the chest. The other did the same from the back.

Something happened in the water. When he returned to shore he still felt sad, but it was manageable. He later found out that people come from all over to swim with the bottlenose dolphins, who are very tame, and claim they are healers. He said he’s never gotten to that dark place since, and when he is down it is a normal kind of sadness.

He told me the story in a very matter of fact way. Nothing else we talked about had spiritual overtones. The rest of our conversation was about surfing, lifesaving, etc.

He has returned to his roots and has worked as an ocean guard on the Big Island for the past 10 years. He seems really content. He says he’s never been as happy as now. He swims regularly with the dolphins at the park but hasn’t felt the deep sonar blast him since that one day that they saved him and altered the course of his life.