beach, beauty, boogie boarding, California, caretakers of the planet, conservancy, coral, fish, glasses, green sea turtle, guardians, Hawaii, honu, Maui, motor boat, nature, ocean, Pine Lake, prescription goggles, rain, Red Deer River, sea, sea turtles, seeing, snorkel mask, snorkeling, swimming, swimming pool, Sylvan Lake, tropical fish, Utah, vacation, Waskasoo Creek, water, water music
I have always been fascinated by water. When I was three, my sisters and I would put on our bathing suits, go outside, and dance in the rain. A little older, we’d walk many blocks to the city swimming pool, where for a quarter we could swim all day. I loved going to Pine Lake, which had a long expanse of golden sand and shallow water, or to Sylvan Lake, where we’d ride in Dad’s motor boat. I spent many hours playing in the Waskasoo Creek, observing the tiny animals and plants, listening to the water music. We would hike through the woods to the Red Deer River where we’d stand still and wonder at the way the mighty river angrily hurled itself down its chosen path. Eventually my husband and I ended up living near the California ocean. My children and I spent many summer days (and a lot of winter days too) at the beach. We’d gather up the beach blanket, sand toys, towels, boogie boards, and a cooler (full of peanut butter, jam, a loaf of bread, a knife, and some kind of fruit), and we’d pile into the “Sand Mobile” (aptly named for all the sand I couldn’t vacuum out of the carpets). I couldn’t understand why most women chose to lie on their towels and bake in the sun when that marvelous ocean was calling to us to come and play. I spent more time in the water than out. The only problem was that I couldn’t really see.
Since second grade I have worn glasses, and trips into the water meant folding up my glasses, putting them somewhere they wouldn’t get stepped on (like the cooler), and flinging myself into a liquid world of brilliant color but no clear detail. Since moving to Utah, I have spent a lot of time at the swimming pool. I use goggles, which magnify details a little, but still leave me looking at a lot of color and fuzzy shapes. Nevertheless, some of my happiest hours are spent in the water.
Two weeks ago we took a family vacation to Maui. It was so beautiful, and the food was delicious, but the best part was going snorkeling. My husband gave me an incredible gift: he rented a prescription snorkel mask for me. (I don’t know why I’ve never thought of getting prescription goggles before. It just never occurred to me that it was possible. When my sister suggested it, I just thought, ‘Hmmm, that’s an interesting idea.’ But it was just an idea, something I wasn’t sure was necessary. I loved the water just as I experienced it. I would get by.) So, we put on our gear and went into the water. And then a miracle happened. For the first time in my life, I could see under water! To say I was amazed is an understatement. Words cannot express how incredible it was to see details, the brilliant fish swimming, the multitude of coral and sea life. Best of all, we saw the sea turtles. These beautiful, gentle giants are so graceful, so patient with the human intruders who come to gawk at them. I was filled with awe to be able to share their watery world with them.
I’m so glad that the sea turtles are protected. We live in a world filled with such beauty. We are caretakers of our planet, guardians of the amazing creatures who share it with us. I am so grateful to be able to see it!