One morning not too long ago, my daughter and I rode the bus down to the part of our village that is on the Ionian sea coast, about a seven-minute drive.
Halfway down the winding mountain road, the bus happened upon a man pulled off to the side. He held binoculars up to his face and was looking toward the sea.
The bus driver stopped (I can’t really say he pulled over because the road already barely fits two cars so he literally just stopped in the middle of it) and the man put down his binoculars and turned around. He had an enormous smile on his face.
The bus driver responded with the Italian gesture for “What the heck are you doing?,” which, for those who don’t know, is bringing all five fingers together so that they touch at their tips and then holding the hand at about chin level while bobbing it forward and back.
“Delfini!” the man shouted and turned to point to the sea.
Indeed there were. Three of them, not too far from the shore (entirely visible to the naked eye), jumping up from the gorgeous blue water and diving back into it — backs arched and water splashing, bubbling, and frothing at their tails.
An incredible sight.
We all watched them for a good couple minutes from our bus seats, oohing and aahing and smiling like mad. I kept thinking of how I so wished my daughter would be able to remember that moment, but of course she won’t as she wasn’t even two years old and could barely see the dolphins anyway.
Recounting it here is the next best thing, I suppose, so I don’t forget it either.
And there is so much to love about this story.
Nature, beauty, yes, but also that it is so representative of the kind of slow-paced life that some of us expats love and other loathe (or love to hate).
The fact that the man with the binoculars had stopped in the first place, making the bus driver curious enough to stop and question him.
Or that not one person on the bus shifted uncomfortably in his or her seat or complained that we were sitting in the middle of the road for no reason other than to admire one of nature’s most beautiful creatures on a morning when surely everyone had somewhere to be.
Or that no other cars passed either way while we were stopped to ruin the moment.
An amazing moment in time–and a great reminder to always stop and admire the dolphins.