The following excerpt is from the new book The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer (Hay House).
The first rays of the morning sun filtered gently through the breaking clouds, unveiling the unspoiled beauty of a remote coral island, set like a jewel in the middle of a deep blue sea.
A tropical storm had just hit the area, and a huge swell was pounding the reef. The once-placid ocean had turned into a raging torrent of surf and spray.
Suddenly, when a huge wave was about to break, a young dolphin appeared from the deep, and crossing the wave as it hit the reef, he projected a thin trail across the wall of water, fighting hard to maintain an edge between bottom and crest, holding his breath….
The lip of the wave slowly wrapped him, deeper and deeper, taking him to a place surfers dream of: the barrel.
And then, as he finished cutting the face of the wave, the lone dolphin managed a beautiful cutback and exited the wave with a magnificent pull-out.
He decided that this would be the last wave he’d surf this morning, so he swam into the island’s lagoon, exhausted but happy.
Daniel Alexander Dolphin and the surf were inseparable. From watching the sun rise every morning and set every afternoon, to all those surfing sessions in which he would forget the meaning of time, Daniel knew that there was nothing more important in his life than the moments he spent riding waves.
Indeed, more than anything else, Daniel Dolphin loved to surf. It was in his blood and in his soul, and it made him feel free. Surfing helped him achieve a unique communication with the sea, making him realize that the ocean was not only a mass of moving water, but something alive, full of wisdom and beauty.
Daniel Dolphin was a dreamer. He was convinced that there was more to life than fishing and sleeping, so he had decided to devote all his energies to discovering the true purpose of his life through his surfing and the wisdom of the sea. That was his dream.
From the beginning, this way of thinking brought him problems with the pod. Many of his friends couldn’t understand what he was trying to achieve.
Every morning while getting ready to fish, the pod would watch Daniel head toward the reef, ready for another surfing session. How could he waste so much time doing something that wouldn’t help him find the food he needed? It was pure madness.
One evening when Daniel was returning from the surf, Michael Benjamin Dolphin, Daniel’s best friend, came to him and asked, "What do you think you’re doing, Daniel? Why are you risking your life in the reef? What are you trying to prove?"
"I’m not trying to prove anything," Daniel replied. "I just want to know what I can learn from the sea and my surfing. That’s all."
"For heaven’s sake, Daniel, a lot of dolphins who care about you think that sooner or later you’ll get killed. Riding waves was fun when we were calves, but now you’re pushing yourself to the limit. Why don’t you spend your time catching more fish instead of wasting it surfing the reef?"
Daniel Dolphin stared at his old friend, and after being quiet for a while, he said, "Michael, look around you. Our world is full of dolphins who fish from dawn to dusk, one day after another. They’re always fishing. They don’t have the time to pursue their dreams anymore. Instead of fishing to live, they now live to fish."
Daniel’s voice turned to the past. "I remember a young and strong Michael Dolphin who could stare at the waves for hours, imagining himself on top of one of those giant walls of water, dreaming. Now I only see a scared dolphin, always fishing, afraid of living his own dreams. What can be more important in life than to follow your dreams, whatever they are?"
Daniel stared at his friend and said, "Remember that you only live once, Michael. Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams."
Michael was confused, knowing that what he’d heard was true, but the idea of a life made of dreams was far away from him. He wasn’t a calf anymore, and his dreams had been replaced by duties. Wasn’t that why he fished? Besides, what would the other dolphins think if they saw him riding waves?
He remembered his days as a surfer as something that belonged to his youth, to the past. He had thought about surfing again, but he was so tired after fishing all day that he could always think of some good reason not to do it.
Michael looked at his friend Daniel, and trying to be convincing, said to him, "Someday, Daniel, you’ll grow up and see things the way the rest of the pod sees them. There is no other way." And then Michael was gone.
Daniel’s sadness was evident, and although Michael had changed a lot since the times they’d spent together surfing, discovering some new secret spot, he still loved him as he had years before. He knew that the joy they had shared was still in his heart, but for some reason, Michael had stopped dreaming.
Daniel’s heart was aching, but he felt that there was nothing more he could do to help his friend. He knew he would be misunderstood for telling others what he felt inside, for trying to show them the freedom he experienced while surfing.
But Daniel Dolphin also knew that he would be hooked forever on the magic he’d discovered, riding waves alone in the vastness of his beloved sea.
He had chosen to live his life based on his own principles, and although he was sometimes lonely, he had no regrets.
learned fast in the days and weeks that followed. He spent whole days surfing
the reef, sometimes even forgetting to take time out to feed himself; and although
he was happy with the life he had chosen, he wished he could share with the
pod what he felt inside.
"If I could only find a way to show them the freedom I feel when surfing," he said to himself, "maybe they would realize how important it is to follow your dreams. Then again, I don’t have any right to interfere with their lives. Who am I to tell them what’s wrong and what’s right? That’s it. From now on, I’ll just try to be the best I can be. There are still lots of things I have to discover about my surfing, so I won’t bother anyone anymore."
Daniel felt good about his decision. He would follow his dreams as he had always done, for better or worse.
He was heading back to the lagoon when, suddenly, he heard a voice.
He could barely understand what was being said, but words were being whispered to him. Who could it be?
In his confusion, Daniel lost his balance and almost got washed in to shore. Who was calling him? The voice sounded familiar, like someone he’d always known. He looked around, but he was definitely alone.
He became afraid. Had the loneliness, the price paid for living his dreams, finally taken its toll? Was he mad?
And then he heard the voice once more. But this time, it was clear:
There comes a time in life
when there is nothing else to do
but to go your own way.
A time to follow your dreams.
A time to raise the sails of your