Alita + Alysa { Honduras Part 2 }

 When you have such a dreamy vacation,
it truly is hard to pick one highlight.
So I'm not going to do that.
But...
 I would be willing to say that
if my life depended on picking one,
I'd have to say my time with Alita was that highlight.

The following is my journal entry from a week ago today,
Friday, February 21st. Hand-written with pink ink
in my moleskine journal that always goes with me on my travels.
Friday, February 21st , 8pm, CST

"I got to be in the water with dolphins.
With Alita in particular.


 Sometimes you see the majesty of God in ways that 
wouldn't seem to make sense,
but when I had my arms under the belly of Alita,
it was as if I was in surreal contact with my Creator God.

 The grace and power mix of a dolphin reminds me of my Creator.
Sort of reminded me of my running experience where I felt
God/Jesus SO near on each run.
It was that same display of His Presence.

  (Jack was on shore taking photos, too)

I think the Lord loves when we find pleasure in His creation.
So I think He was up in Heaven smiling down on me and Alita.
Just an ordinary girl having an experience she had always dreamed of,
but until that day, never experienced.

Meet Alita.
She's a 25-year-old, 330 pound, 8 foot long dolphin.
She's a mama to Lincoln, who was close by - one year old.
Alita is nursing Lincoln so she eats 35 pounds of fish a day.
She has 80 teeth and doesn't chew her food. 
Swallows fish whole.
  The trainer had one of the kids in our group tickle her under belly,
between her fins,
and Alita flapped her fins as if being tickled.

Alita was so smooth - but strong.
She gave me a kiss on the cheek and the trainer held her there for a long time
and then gave her extra fish. 
I didn't mind the extra snuggle time!
The speed at which she can swim - 25mph.
So speedy and her brakes -- MERCY -- she can stop on a dime.
Quite impressive.
She did all sorts of tricks.
Boy could she sky high.


 At the very end of our time together, 
I stuck around longer than the other paying customers
and asked if I could have 2 more kisses.
One for Maddie.
One for Jackson.
He reluctantly agreed.

But my motto in life came through for me, yet again.
IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK.
ALL THEY CAN DO IS SAY NO.
Period.
And a lot of the time, they say yes!
The adventures I've had through the decades,
simply because I asked.
You oughta try it sometime.
You'd be surprised.

So this kiss if for Maddie.


And this one's for Jackson.


Thank you very much.
I think Alita REALLY liked me.
Wouldn't you agree?
I thought of the kids a lot while I was encountering the dolphin.
Some day I would love for them to experience that, too.
They'd both LOVE it.

As I was watching and touching Alita,
I said in my head,
"Lord, you're AMAZING. Thank you."

 The fact that he made dolphins with the ability to be trained is incredible.
What a gift to us.

At one point our trainer had us slap our hands on the water
and as we did, Alita swam along beside us slapping her tail fin,
totally splashing us.



SO PLAYFUL.

I do think in Heaven there will be an ocean where those of us that 
want to play and swim and jump and twirl with dolphins will be able 
to worship our Creator in that way.
If Heaven is a place where worship and praise is continual - which I believe it is -
I have to believe those types of activities will be in abundance.

I know my sis-in-law Becky wants to curl up with a lion - 
I think she'll be able to do that there.

Maddie will be able to ride horses and experience God in that way.

Jackson will want to play with dolphins, too.

And Jack will be scuba diving with no equipment - to his heart's content.
He sees the incredible nature of God under water. 
He'll praise Him there.

Not sure how that falls in line with mainstream theology on heaven,
but I really don't care.

Today I feel as if I saw a little glimpse of my Creator in a new way.
His glory on display!
His splendor being shouted to the ends of the earth by a
beautiful dolphin named Alita.

I love that our knowledge and experience of our God never ceases.
We get new, fresh glimpses of Him -- when we are on the lookout for Him.






I experienced that earlier in the day, too,
when I was scuba diving.
I happened upon my new favorite little fish.
It was so colourful -- bright turquoise eyes (rings around her eyes).
And then it looks like she lost COMPLETE control of her mascara wand
and splattered it all down the side of her face.
And she had what appeared to be an orange/salmon colored mustache
and white, puffy lips below.
She had stripes in random order.
SHE WAS THE EPITOME OF CREATIVITY.
No rhyme or reason -- just a flick of two wrists and voila,
here comes a little bit of crazy
and a whole 'lotta happy.

And I LOVED her.
She had to be in the parrot fish family.
She was fun and playful and flitted about,
chasing other fish and then she'd stop and nibble on something
in the coral -- and quickly she'd be back playing with her fishie friends.

Fish are just awesome -- they play well.
They're not too hung up on who has the coolest house --
they just play and eat and occasionally get flitty when a large snapper 
wanders through town.
I never tire of watching God's glory on display --
what an amazing experience.

And Alita,
maybe some day you and I will meet again.
Until then,
jump high and be happy, my sweet new friend!




Grateful today for God's gift of creativity to me.
Lord, I shake my head and marvel
at YOU."

Comments

Victoria said…
So cool! I would love to swim with dolphins someday!
Alysa said…
Do it -- you will LOVE it, Victoria!

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