Aruba

There is something in the water, the way it touches us all.  It is an infinite web of connectivity spanning space and time. It is part of us down to our micro levels, an elemental component of our existence.

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I'm floating somewhere about 150 feet offshore from the white sandy beaches of this dry, desert island just fifteen miles off the coast of Venezuela.  I'm tired from the exertion of the dive we've just completed and I hang onto the mooring line with my arms over my head, now giving myself up completely to the gentle rocking of the waves: back and forth. The movement is soothing and strong.  It feels like the sea making deep inhalations in and out and I wonder if this is what it's like to be a piece of kelp getting rocked in the watery arms of the earth. I'm about fifteen feet under the surface, looking up into the refracted sunlight above, bubbles streaming up and out of me as air leaves my lungs and bursts to the surface. I can see the waves overhead crashing in time with the rocking and I have an intense feeling of peace here under the ocean.

 

I have always loved the water; for as long as I can remember I've been a swimmer in one form or another.  This love has taken on another dimension since I learned how to dive over three years ago in Thailand.  Today in Aruba though, there was magic in the water: sea turtles swimming calmly around us, majestic and entirely unafraid.  This is a moment of wonder, seeing these creatures, communing with them.  They seem endowed with some timeless wisdom of the underwater world, their eyes bright with intelligence.  I wonder at all they have seen during their lifetime here, the changes they have witnessed.  The water has been growing warmer, delicate balances thrown into chaos. Clive, a local dive master, informs us that 80% of the hard choral has already died off.  Miniature springs of soft choral, vibrant and beautiful grow up from the graveyard of the hard choral skeletons below. Even after the turtles swim on their way, I feel their presence close, ethereal. 

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