A good twenty years before I moved to Baja California Sur, my singing teacher Pilar took a trip to Cabo San Lucas. I remember the two of us sitting side by side on the bench at the black grand piano in her Mill Valley home when she told me. Cabo San Lucas sounded exotic and far away, conjuring images that were nothing like the town I came to know years later. She met a whale on the beach. All I remember of her story is the image of Pilar standing still, water to her knees, staring into the eye of a whale yards away. In my mind it was only the two of them on the beach, in the world that day. I remember how the flush of that communion was still with her days later when she told me the story. I have not looked a whale in the eye this lifetime–not yet–but I carry her memory now as though it was my own.
[This image is in the public domain.]