Once again, we took a little swim with our dolphin friends, and once again, we learned a little lesson. We had a dolphin encounter (in which we kissed and 'danced' and petted) before, when bebe was about 4. This time, all three of us wanted to get a little more up-close-and-personal with the dolphins, so we opted for the actual swim. That's bebe above, getting a 'superman' ride...and I'm down below, hanging on while the three of us swam together.
Our dolphins were names Emiliano and Da Vinci, and they were the sweetest boys - very adventurous, talkative, and a little bit silly. Completely adorable and lovable.
One of the things that stuck with me as we were frolicking (it's my new favorite word...there is no other word for a dolphin encounter than a frolick), our trainer told us to let the dolphins do the hard work, and just hang on for the ride. When a dolphin swims you around (like me, below), the 'human' holds his or her hands out to the side, the dolphins swim up and you let your hands hold, a little loosely, over their dorsal fin. Same when they're 'supermanning' you out of the water - you lay kind of spread-eagle and they push against your feet until you're up and out of the water (like bebe, above).
The problem is that I wasn't really focusing on what caused them to draw away from one another...or, maybe it's that I was too focused on the external reasoning and not enough on what was happening just below the surface, from the very start of their love story. And because I was so focused on what was happening on the outside, I almost missed the very real undercurrents that started them down the road to a breakup in the first place.
Swimming with dolphins is like that a little bit. When I was waiting for Da Vinci and Emiliano to swim up so that I could grab on to their fins, I was so focused on what would happen next that I very nearly missed them altogether. Then, once I was holding on, I was so busy watching their tails and anticipating falling head-first into the ocean, that I almost didn't let the experience wash over me in the first place. I nearly missed how cool it was to skim over the surface of the water, how amazing it was to feel their tails bumping against my hips...Just like I nearly missed that my characters weren't just falling apart because of the present, but because of their pasts.
About halfway through the swim - and halfway through the third version of the book - I realized that I had to let the dolphins - and the characters - lead the way...and I just had to hold on and enjoy the ride.