I was not planning on swimming with the wonderful wild Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins during my recent trip to Kona, Hawaii. But one day I woke up and felt that I needed to get in the water with them, if I could schedule it. So, a few emails and phone calls later, I had arranged a boat trip – with just me and my sister, and a wonderful guide Jan – for the following day.

As soon as we motored out of the harbor, we were surrounded by dolphins, including several spotted dolphins, who I had never seen before. The dolphins were very friendly, with a “come play with us” energy, but they did not move away from the mouth of the harbor (where we could not swim), so we moved on.

We passed a couple of boats with people in the water, but learned there were “only four dolphins” with them, so we kept motoring south. It was such a perfect day – smooth ocean, blue sky, sunshine. It felt so good to just be out on the water away from shore. But we did not see any dolphins, so we motored back to the cove where the four dolphins were still interacting with other people.

We swam for over an hour with the four beautiful, friendly, and playful wild Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. My sister and I and Jan were the only ones in the bay with the dolphins for the last half hour. They swam very close to us, sometimes only about 6 inches away, looking us in the eyes. They circled and dove and then came back around.

There seemed to be a mother and older baby (not yet fully grown but smaller than the others) who stayed close together, and the other two who were also close to each other. But all four were BEING with us, totally present. They were just being who they are. I did not sense any cosmic messages, except for the ultimate – which was to just BE in the moment. BE with others in a very present way. BE yourself – your playful, loving, alive, present self.

The dolphins gradually spent a little more time at the bottom. They came back around a few times to say “goodbye,” and then disappeared.

I have been in the water with the wild dolphins at least 10 times over the years, and this was the most amazing, moving, and profound experience I have ever had. “Only four dolphins” allowed us to really connect with the individuals. And these dolphins clearly wanted to connect with us. What an amazing gift!

After we got back on the boat, Jan said something so profound and true – she said the dolphins were “so generous” – with their time, their energy, their presence, their love. They were so generous!

I spent some time thinking about generosity, and how generous Hawaii is! The warm, fragrant, moist air, the amazing flowers, the warm ocean with all of the bright fish, the Aloha spirit. Hawaiian culture teaches to take care of the land and the land will take care of you. What a lovely reminder about how generous our Earth is, and how well she takes care of us, and how we need to love and take care of her in return.