For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. – Jacques Cousteau
There are linguists who trace the derivation of the word soul to an ancient Germanic root word meaning coming from or belonging to the sea. For example the Old Saxon word for soul – sêola and for sea sêo. The ancient northern Europeans believed the soul came from and returned to sacred bodies of water. They would offer sacrificial offerings to ease the passage of the soul from this world to the Great Beyond. And beneath those vast rolling waves, whales are singing a soulful symphony to one another. Recently some researchers have created a way to transcribe those incredible songs.
Songs of Whales Recorded and Transcribed – National Geographic
Saltwater flows through our veins. Life began in the ocean. We have relatives out there in the briny deep. One of our most wonderful remote relations are the soulful whales. We are cousins – a half million or so generations removed. We share common ancestors – 5×105 Great Grandparents ago. We are related to all living things. But the titans of the sea strike a deep chord within me like a colossal bell ringing beneath the waves. The vibrations pulsate through my bones into my inner sanctum. A fundamental change within my spirit occurred the first time I gazed upon a whale up close.
In college, some friends and I went on a whale watching boat off the coast of California. For a few minutes, I was the only person on the starboard side of the boat. My friends were looking through their cameras, but I didn’t have a camera, and wanted to simply experience the encounter with my heart. This beautiful gray whale surfaced a few feet from the boat. Our eyes met for a few seconds. But I could feel the deep intellect behind that brief expressive glance. Although I appreciated nature before, that moment was the catalyst for my lifelong love of communing with nature.
Whale Song Sheet Music Visualization
In the mornings, I wander alone along the shore with seabirds and ravens as companions. I laugh as the little shorebirds rush up and down the beach snagging insects. My spirit harmonizes with the shouts of the ravens and piercing cries of the gulls. The whispers of wind swirling beneath my collar call to something primordial within my soul. I greet the ocean as it rushes up to my feet. I inevitably smile – heartened by the effervescent waters. Each walking meditation is a homecoming.
Later, as I sit at home writing, the ocean’s roar rolls through the trees like a great ambient orchestra triggering relaxing brainwaves that cleanses my mind of anxiety and remnant desolation. I imagine the whales off the coast weaving their downtempo jazz beats into lush adagios riffs. Like ancestral binaural beats, my brainwaves sync with my cousin whales’ soul symphony. For a time, we blissfully commune, not only with one another, but with all our fellow cousins across life’s grand timeline. Enjoy your days, cousins.