This is the time for the gathering of the Seal People. Each year, one by one at first, they come to shore and give birth to small white pups. Great seal cows hang in the sea, fat as butter, shining in the salt water. The pups are born in yellow white fur, their coats too big, and the first few days are spent in quick growth and suckling, seal milk, so rich. They sleep with their heads on stone pillows smoothed by the waves and soon they fill their small fur suits and soon they too grow round. And then it is time for them to learn that seals are of the sea and not of the stone beaches.
With patience their mothers lure them into the water where the waves craddle them, taking their weight, turning them, lifting.
If you spend enough time walking you can witness these things. I have watched as gulls and ravens fight over afterbirth, never quite been there to see a pup being born. I have seen them so small, just minutes old, watched as they take their first milk. In clear water I have witnessed seals mating, a tender, spinning coupling, a weightless dance. I have seen them hunting and watched a seal catch a great bass and bite it through, and watched them nosing out crabs and lobsters. I have seen them bask on rocks as their coats dry from water dark to stone gray in summer sun. I have seen them with stone gray coats, ink dark coats, lichen gold and even copper red cats, but all blend with the beaches, the stones so that sometimes you can look from the cliffs and only if a seal called or if one lifted her head would you know there was fur and stone on teh beach below. One by one you begin to see them until you find that a beach you thought empty of life has 20 or more seals and pups basking on it.
And today I watched a mother and child as she taught him to swim, pushing him under the water until he found that he could move so fast through the waves.
And I have heard them sing.
There is something wonderful in watching as the seal child's world becomes larger than the small circle of mother and milk.