In the blustering wind along Pumicestone Passage, I found shelter at the Boat Club. In the warmth of the Club, over a cappuccino, I witnessed the passing of a flock of pelicans coming to rest along the pier waiting for fishermen to throw away their offal. As if the ocean couldn’t produce enough food for them or perhaps they preferred the company of humans.
I saw the different shapes of boats swaying on the mini-waves of the Passage.It was high tide, and it seemed the boats were drifting along the shoreline without any passengers. I was enticed to step out and enter their journey. A gypsy at heart, longing to be free like the pelican’s flight, gliding, with strong wings steering their direction, skimming across the waters.
Their taloned feet arresting their speed to slide and half sink into the water, their hefty bodies oiled and smooth slowing them to a rhythmic pace, like a ballet of ice-skaters. Yet they were able to turn and dive and push their beaks into the water to catch their prey. Their elegant walk on land allowed them to be part of the human race, traversing the three worlds.. sea, air and land. Mostly they synchronized their focus when they flew, and yet so able to stand alone .
One day I saw a pelican drifting, with head low, to the shore, and people on the beach gathered to see her plight. She was just barely able to reach the beach, and by-standers hauled her out of the water to tend to her. She appeared to be dying. Young children nestled close to her, and were bewildered by her lack of willpower to go on living. Soon her mate arrived and stood silently by to honour her passing.Her partner stayed in mourning all through late afternoon until help came to take her away. Other pelicans came near and coached her to join them and soon they arched across the sky like a rainbow of wings, perched upon the blustering wind.