There is a whale in the Wear. Our Wear – the river outside my window. Impossible, you say? But I can hear him. I can hear his voice loud and clear. He doesn’t complain, doesn’t ask for help. He is humble in all his greatness and size. Some would call it majestic, but that is the wrong impression. He shows his flank when he jumps above the surface, twists and gasps for air. He is large, enormous, huge, but a large creature has a large flank. He doesn’t complain, doesn’t ask for help. He says, I am here, I am not a dream. His moonlit voice spirals up the northern lights above him – he speaks the language of the sky. Too many of us don’t. Too many of us look away, close our eyes and ears from the truth. I am here, says the whale, and his voice rings with all the wisdom of the ocean. There has never been a larger species on earth, not even when the dinosaurs were alive. Large creatures choose their movements carefully. They know their impact, the importance of choice and thought. A harpoon is fast. A whale is not. He doesn’t complain, doesn’t ask for help. And he never stops to choose his movements with care. The whale splashes his tail. The whale splashes his tale. The whale leaps for air. He breathes like us. And yet he spends all his life under the pressure of the sea, and carries it with patience, care. He is a mammal, but he is not like us. His voice rings out and lights up my eyes. We should be like him.