Eye Contact

SimoneLipscombWhile hovering over a coral reef in the Caribbean, I spot a blenny. The small fish, perhaps an inch long with eyes the size of a pin head, makes eye contact. In the Sea of Cortez, hovering over a rocky outcrop a juvenile puffer fish, also very tiny in size, approaches my mask and makes eye contact. No matter the size of the species, it always feels as if a real connection of some sort is made when eyes of one connects with eyes of another.

SimoneLipscomb (1)One of the most satisfying experiences enjoyed in my life is making eye contact with wild animals. Perhaps not all wild animals would accept it as a peaceful action but those who choose to interact with me like this help me to feel accepted into that other’s life, if only for a moment.

SimoneLipscomb (7)While interacting with a juvenile humpback whale, there was definitely eye contact. Considering the cetacean was over 15 feet in length, she wasn’t the one intimidated. I offered a quiet mind and peaceful heart to this sister and the encounter changed my life. Maybe it changed her for the better in some way, too.

SimoneLipscomb (5)And manatees…they seem to love making goo-goo eyes with me or my camera housing dome port. (Perhaps they are really making goo-goo eyes with the manatee they see reflected in the port). I like to think that when we make eye contact with others…be it wildlife, our domestic non-human friends or even humans…we are making an agreement to connect.

SimoneLipscomb (9)

Sampson, a bobcat that lives indoors in a wildlife rescue center after being surrendered by a human who declawed him and kept him illegally as a pet.

It has been said the eyes are the window of the soul. That’s how I gauge if someone is ‘home’ in their body. It’s how I communicate with other species and with other humans. There is much to learn from looking into another’s eyes.

Cath Steel & Will Kimbrough

Cathe Steel & Will Kimbrough

What about you? Are you willing to take the risk to make eye contact?

SimoneLipscomb (3)Or will you live with blinders, refusing to connect with others around you?

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