For most people, the term underwater has a negative meaning… but I use it as metaphor for my emotional ups and downs. Today, underwater became something different and wonderful to me.
I went snorkeling in the clear waters of Catalina this afternoon. My experience began with wrestling into a spring wetsuit. My first triumph was fitting into a small suit versus a medium. Getting into the water was the next challenge, which required me to walk backwards down the ramp in flippers. I was a a vision of grace and loveliness.
Once in the water, I struggled in the current and the kelp that wrapped around my arms and legs. Next, I tried my snorkel but I kept taking in water so I gave up and just held my breath as I swam along.
When I put my face into the water and got my first glimpse of the kelp forest below, I began to relax and flow with the current. The kelp forest must have reached 50 feet below me. With sunlight beams shining through the thick forest, I could see colorful coral and sea life below. It was like I was swimming in the displays of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
It inspired me to try the snorkel again. As I slowed to long deep breaths, the snorkel and I began to get along better. I broke through the thick kelp and I found myself in the middle of huge school of Rock Cod, Garibaldi and Calico Bass. I swam along with the fish, I became one of them and changed direction when they did. It was like a scene from Finding Nemo.
On the paddle back through the kelp thicket that first attacked me, I stopped fighting it and let it embrace me instead. I reluctantly got out of the water because I had to catch the ferry back to the mainland.
I have surfed and kayaked for years so I am comfortable in the ocean, but have not snorkeled for 13 years. To be honest, I have never been fond of having my head underwater, until now. My experience today has made me enjoy being below the surface. I am inspired to find my snorkeling gear and drop below the water’s surface more often.
When I feel like I am underwater emotionally, now I know all I have to do is relax, breath deeply and let my surroundings embrace me. Only then can I see the beauty around me, become part of it and feel at peace.