Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whales are arriving - Project Status Update

As the whales return, we volunteers at The Whalesong Project are scrambling to raise money to get the buoy back in the ocean. Itʻs an annual ritual, it seems for us. Launching and nurturing the project each whale season takes a lot of time and attention. Last season saw us participate in more events than ever, and at the same time our income dropped dramatically. At the end of each season we scramble back to our paying jobs so we are able to participate in another whale season, which always arrives faster than we expect. We always hope to have the buoy in early so we can hear the early season songs, but we do the best we can.....which means if everything goes well we will have her in the ocean by Christmas...which is when the babies start showing up and the singing begins in earnest. Of course, no one can really prove yet why these mysterious songs are sung, and why they evolve the way they do each year. I keep listening each year in fascination, and something new is learned each year. Maybe, like a puzzle, the "picture" of what we are hearing will be come clearer with time. In the meanwhile, listening and enjoying the fact that these beautiful creatures are still with us after a close brush with extinction, is an annual ritual and celebration for me.

The older Hawaiians tell us that the Whales arrive when the Makaliʻi, the Pleides, come up over the horizon and the Sandalwood Trees blossom. Itʻs the ancient season of the God Lono, who represents peace and agriculture. Itʻs a season when any war ceased. That season is upon us.