January 1806 – the explorers are making one of their last journeys to the ocean before returning east. Sacajawea has not yet seen the ocean. Though she tells Captain Clark, “It will be too hard not to see the Great Water after coming so far,” the deeper reason is her spiritual calling… she has to see the “Big Fish” on the shore.
Sacajawea stands on Tillamook Head looking down at the wide expanse of the magnificent beach. Her eyes scan the endless horizon, breath-taking waves crash one after the other onto the infinite shoreline. Her heart pounds when she sees enormous whales splashing and playing in the Great Water. She tears at the sight of the lifeless whale stuck in the sand… its rib cage picked clean, its bones reaching toward the sky. Sacajawea closes her eyes in awe of the majestic spirit. She prays with reverence, “Thank you, Great Father.”
The purpose of the whale in the screenplay, SACAJAWEA, The Windcatcher, is to show Sacajawea’s deep spiritual connection to creation and the literal world that crosses her path, both light and dark. The Spirit Whale helps her bridge the expanse of miles to the family she had to leave behind. She is able to face her true feelings and emotions from her losses, and embrace the Great Spirit’s purpose for her life. To her, seeing the whales in the water and on the beach had a much deeper meaning.
The fascinating and thought-provoking fact, as the journals tell us, the whales were swimming and breaching in the water, the beached whale truly was on the shore with its rib cage in the sand, the Clatsop Indians did tell the soldiers it was there, Sacajawea actually stood up for herself and said she had to see the Big Fish… This is not a made-up event, it is actual and Spiritual. The most astounding revelation is that we have been entrusted, through this powerful scene, with a glimpse of Creator and how he worked in Sacajawea’s life – and, how she embraced her own intuition and her true calling. It also gives us a look into the future and assures us Creator is always at work moving us toward the light.
Sacajawea made it to the Great Water, and in the film, it becomes the purpose of her life that transcends generations. It is the end of our story, but, as spirituality shows us every day, “The end… is the beginning.” Though darkness followed through history, it is from this reality that we claim the message for us today: The whale is a wisdom-holder, a keeper-of-history, and a way-shower for Sacajawea’s rebirth… and our own. ~ Spirit Wind
INTERESTING SYNERGY FACT – Sacajawea was born in Salmon, Idaho. Little did she know that the basalt rock she hiked, called Tillamook Head, was actually a tilted remnant of a basalt lava flow that had traveled down the Columbia River, 15-million-years before. And, incredibly, the flow originated in Idaho, Sacajawea’s “home.” So, as she gazed out at the great water from that 1000 foot high cliff, she was, in fact, standing on her own land. Now isn’t that amazing!