It's Monday and the Christmas season is beginning to take hold, uplifting us in spirit but also entangling us in commitments, lists and errands, work or personal deadlines and all the other issues sent to try us and weigh us down when we'd all just like to cut loose and enjoy the season.
Maybe this will help.
Five years ago today, a very unusual story unfolded in waters not far from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
A female Humpback whale had become entangled in a web of crab traps. She was being dragged down by hundreds of pounds of rope and lead weights that forced her to struggle to stay afloat and breath.
Thousands of yards of trap lines were wrapped around her body, her tail and in her mouth. A fisherman who'd spotted her radioed a local environmental group for help. They dispatched a rescue team who realized the whale would drown unless they immediately dove in to untangle her.
But that could put anyone who entered the water at risk because Humpback whales can crush a man with a single flick of their tails and they knew that as it got weaker the whale might struggle violently or panic as it tried to break free.
But the team felt they had no choice. They dove in and began to cut away the traps and the weights and the tangles of rope. The job took several hours, but finally the whale was free.
The minute the last of her bonds fell away, she swam around the divers in joyous circles. Then she approached each one individually and gently pushed them around as if she was thanking them.
Some of the divers said it was the most incredible experience of their lives.
The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes stayed on him the whole time and he would never forget the connection he felt with the animal.
As Christmas approaches, may you, and all those you love, be surrounded by people who will help you untangled from whatever may be binding you.
And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
The full story here.