Whale migration

Oh August, I feel like you went by too quickly. The last weeks of winter have always been celebrated with a migration of sorts and this annual retreat has become a tradition. One that always felt like a rebirth, and I will always be grateful to winter’s chill for the darkness that makes fires burn brighter and hotter.

Every year from June to September, Southern Right Whales migrate to birth and rear their young. For me, being born in the tropics, winter has come to mean a rebirth. Every year I go see the whales. Calving is thought to occur only every three to five years. A single young is born after a gestation period of 12 months and within a year, the calf is weaned and independent. Every year, I come to brace myself for the bitter cold but also to enjoy the opportunity for warm fires and the sound of the crashing waves on the shore. If you have time during the break, it's definitely worth heading down south (find more info on the SA Whale Centre website).

What I also relish during my migration is the open road, the hours that pass travelling. Days and weeks are filled with work and study and responsibilities that there is barely any time for travelling and retreats for me. With the whale migration, I at least carry out the promise to myself that for at least one time each year, I allow myself the space to breathe, to reset, to look back, to be present, and to contemplate what’s ahead.

Winter has gone. Spring is here. I am grateful for it and look forward to the upcoming marvellous summer days.

“Let’s also say that change is neither good or bad. It simply is. It can be greeted with terror or joy: a tantrum that says, ‘I want it the way it was,’ or a dance that says, ‘Look, something new.’”Anonymous


Tagged in What messes with your head, Travel, self-care, self-discovery, phd, winter break, Student life