I was so excited to get on the boat. I had heard that a few pods of orcas had been spotted off shore and that we would probably get to see at least one pod. Now, you must understand I have a weird thing for orcas. I’ve had reoccurring dreams with them since I was a child. I read a National Geographic book about killer whales when I was a kid, there was a picture of a woman sitting in a huge room with hamburgers floor to ceiling filling the whole room. This picture how much the whale needed to eat over a certain period of time. That memory along with my dreams gave me this crazy desire to this creature that could eat so much and occupy so much of my subconscious.
My friend and I boarded the boat and were told where to look. I was bouncy and very excited. I couldn’t wait! Today was going to be my day to see a whale! Just one year prior I had been in the very same spot and sat for 3 hours just waiting to get a glimpse of one. But not one whale came by! I heard stories of just days earlier that entire pods of whales were breaching with clear views from shore. I was so irritated! Why did I not get to see the whales!!!! (you should hear how hard I just typed that sentence. I think I may have some pent up resentment=) )
This time was going to be different. I was going to see a whale, and not just one several pods of whales! I was like a kid in the candy store. My friend kept laughing at me. She couldn’t believe a person could be so excited about a mammal.
The boat made it’s way out of the bay and we began to make our way out into the water. There were reports of whales spotted in various sites and we’d head that direction. Two hours went by and not one whale. My hope continued. The trip wasn’t over… then the dreaded words of the tour guide. “well it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing any whales today. When we get back to shore you’ll be given a coupon for a free whale watching tour. Sorry there were no whales today.” My heart sank. Two years in a row, I make the pilgrimage to the San Juan Islands off of Washington and two years in a row, no orcas!
I decided I couldn’t be upset about it. Sure, things didn’t turn out like I had wanted but I did get to see some beautiful scenery, bald eagles, lots of dolphins and several unidentified swimming objects. My friend and I landed on shore, collected our coupons and tried to come up with a list of things to be thankful for about the experience.
Life is often like that boat ride; we take a risk, head out into the unknown with hope of a certain outcome and end up with a reign check and what feels like wasted time on our hands. There was nothing lost on our trip to see. My wish didn’t come true, but my hope wasn’t placed in the fulfillment of a wish, therefore, when the wish didn’t come true I didn’t leave devastated or frustrated. Just appropriately bummed.
Have you ever experienced a time where you wished for something and your wish didn’t come true? Or have you placed your hope in something and when things didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you felt abandoned and terribly disappointed? Take a moment and think about these things, then ask yourself what can you hope in that will not disappoint? If you can’t think of an answer, make a comment and lets start a dialogue about wishing and hoping!