In 2013, Sofia and I had planned to travel in Mexico. She had flown in from Sweden to San Diego a little early as I had to finishing up some business there. For a little over a month we shared a house with my amazing son, Henry, and some other intense house mates. It was a good month.
Then Sofia and I moved to the beach in Tijuana. It is called Playas de Tijuana. We rented a very affordable, neat studio apartment near the beach. For six weeks, I had work which I could do half of on the Tijuana beach, and the other half I had to return to San Diego to perform. I had to get up at 3 AM to get across the border to be in time for less than a two-hour, inhuman waiting at the crossing. While I was working Sofia would write, broken up with long walks on the beach. One late afternoon I returned to find Sofia excited. Since moving there we had seen many dolphins playing just out from the beach. But this day, she had watched a big, old seal riding the waves. I got changed and we went out to see the sunset. There sunset was beautiful, there was rainbow and two dolphins leaped out of the water crossing paths in the air. Sofia said: “What the fuck! Is this some kind of a Disney movie? Those things don’t really happen like that?” Then, in the afterglow of the sunset, we saw the seal playing in the waves.
After that we saw it from time to time. It was always the same seal, only one, all alone and playing for hours in the waves. Towards the end of our stay on the Playas, I came home after sunset one night and Sofia was upset. “Michael, our seal died,” she said. “I saw it washed up on shore and when I went close it was clearly dead.” “Oh I am so sorry,” I said. Sofia said, “It was down the beach a little far from where the stores and restaurants are. But I think we need some bones from it to do a seal magic ritual. We have to do it tonight before animals, or people, or the waves take the body away. ”
We began our dark night walk down the Tijuana beach. The Playas is very safe at night – unlike Downtown Tijuana that we always avoided after dark. Families would have fires, sing and laugh on the beach until after midnight in the lights from the ocean side businesses. However, away from the businesses after dark there were drunks, drug addicts, the homeless and in general not so savory or safe characters. I was nervous, but Sofia was driven. Eventually we found the dead seal. We had brought a knife and in the dark we liberated some small bones. We brought them back briskly to our apartment and boiled them in a pot on our hot plate. The smell was terrible. Once the meat scraps and fur were boiled off we dried them.
The next night, we did a simple seal magic ritual. We sent the spirit of this seal, that had brought us so much joy, off into the astral to be free and continue to play. We asked of it and the larger seal energies to bless our fast-approaching journey across Mexico. We asked it to keep us safe, happy and playful.
When we got on a bus, to head towards our further adventures in Mexico the seal bones were with us. We had many great months of adventures traveling and exploring Mexico. Eventually Sofia had to return to Sweden. I had been offered, what at that time seemed like a dream job, in the beach town of Progresso, south in the Yucatan. So, we traveled back to the Tijuana Playas for our last three days together in Mexico, before Sofia had to get on a plane, and I was going to drive back to Progresso in my old truck. Spending those days in Tijuana Playas seemed like a a fitting end to our trip. We walked the beach and reminisced and sayed good bye, not knowing when or even how we would reunite. The third morning as we walked down the beach not far from where we had found the seals corps, an amazing thing happen. A baby seal was playing on the waves. But more than that it came up on the beach waddled towards us, looked right at us and waddled back into the waves. We could not believe it. We knew our seal ceremony had helped our journey to be safe, fun and playful, but this proved to us just how powerful our seal magic ceremony had been.