If not for the gray-haired man on the beach
who stopped me to ask if my dog could have a biscuit —
his eyes welling with tears over the loss of his Lab just
two days before (leaving him without a dog for the first
time in 30 years and his pocket still full of treats) —
who pointed to a wave at "one o'clock" to site the
huge seal bobbing there and then noted a whale
was out there further, I'd not have walked on
(after wishing his heavy heart peace) with my eyes fixed
below the horizon, and would not have seen the joyous
spout ~ I called back to him and he nodded ~ and then
another spout to the right, indicating at least two whales
were there, and would not have seen the graceful curves
of two whale bodies shining in the early autumn sun.
Were not the three Monarch butterflies puddling in pools
near the cliffs, flocks of celebratory Sanderlings flying
switch-backs along the waves, and the companionship of
my precious dog already gifts enough to me this day?
I honor them all with Gratitude.