Dolphins at Venice beach, California? You bet. It was magical.
It’s been a few weeks since the passing of my best friend, Mark. This past weekend would’ve been his 40th. In remembrance, family and friends decided to gather at Venice beach, CA. to celebrate the life of Mark on the day of his birth. It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles.
The sun was out, the weather was mildly warm and the traffic was completely normal. Those elements are usual indicators that it was going to be one of those days in Los Angeles. And it was.
Upon arrival, I instantly felt the ocean breeze embrace my soul. Gazing towards the Venice pier, I could feel similar vibes all along the ocean line. Smiles, laughter and calmness ruled the area where we set up camp for the afternoon.The day went on without a hitch. Even though most of us was completely sad to gather for Mark’s birthday, we tried to not make it a sad affair as it could’ve really turned into one after we sang happy birthday and blew the cake, without any sort of laughter or “woo-hoo’s” at the end. It was more silence and sadness in that exact moment as we all momentarily reflected in our way. Moments later, we cut the cake for the kids which put the group in a more normal mood. I do have to mention that I felt like it was a select type of affair where not everyone that was invited showed up or invites were never really given out to freely. Not sure what the idea really was but in the end, only a select handful of people made it to the beach. I myself, wasn’t sure if I wanted to invite others. It felt weird. After all, it wasn’t my birthday and I was not in charge of setting it up. So in my mindset, I left it be.
But for those that did show up, it seems that Mark had something special in store for us.
At about 4:20pm, people started to gather their belongings and started to get ready to head back home. It was a Sunday after all and most will have to get up early and get to work. As we started to say our goodbyes, one by one, we started to notice that dolphins have now swam into the area where we were set. I’ll state it now: I’ve been going to LA beaches almost my whole life and you hear about dolphin and whale sightings but I myself, have never witnessed one. That changed this past Sunday. 8-10 dolphins literally swam into the area of the beach that we were in and played around with each other for a good 20-30 mins. We stared in awe, tried to take photos and along with the now newly-compiled beach goers that ventured into our area, marveled at the beauty in front of us. It was something I tell ya, truly special. It was evident to us. Mark had given us a special gift that we could cherish for the rest of our lives. It made us smile, laugh and cry all at the same time and reminded us that life is so much more bigger than what we believe it to be.
For myself, Mark answered my thoughts in an instant as I thought to myself, “What if the dolphins went with a big wave so we can see them?” and just like that, the final view of our time with the dolphins was…6-8 dolphins in one big wave, illuminated by the green ocean sea. I was speechless. It was completely satisfying, fulfilling and life-affirming. I’m still amazed by it. As we all turned to say goodbye, for real this time, we were filled with emotions that we couldn’t explain. So many thoughts ran through my head after the dolphin show and so many reflections of my best friend and I’s time together flashed through my head like a slideshow. I felt everyone’s love, sadness, fear, hope and faith all in one moment. It was a hard day to celebrate but Mark gave us a little bit of hope, faith, light, magic and beauty like he always used to when he was alive and well. His 40th is something we will never forget, for many reasons. Happy Birthday Mark, thank you for the dolphin show.
I miss you with all my heart.