I believe in the power of nature. I believe in finding myself in nature. I believe in being completely happy in the ocean. I believe in finding that place and those people you are able to be yourself, and no one else, with, that place where I become one with my surroundings.
The orange kayak skimmed the surface as I dipped the short wooden paddle in and out. Gliding over the shallow water, I looked down and saw the coral and sand quickly pass beneath, yet the beach passed slowly and the horizon was still. I was in a rhythm. Push, pull, back, forward, in, out, twist, turn. I was one with my paddle, my kayak, the ocean. I smiled to myself and sat in silence, not needing to speak. The blue and white kayak paddled at my side. I said, “Can you believe this is school?” and she said, “Can you believe this is my job?” We smiled and I got back into my rhythm.
I sat alone, thinking as the warm sand crept between my toes. I looked toward the horizon and thought that there was nothing more I would rather be doing than sitting here, the sun on my face, the waves in my ears, the salty breeze on my skin, alone with just my thoughts. My heart beat with the rhythm of the waves, and I was calm, dreaming, feeling, living.
I pulled my goggles on as we cautiously approached the water’s edge and dove in. I drew in a quick breath; the water was chilly. We coasted through the water, side by side. For a moment, we stopped to watch the rising sun peek over the horizon. One, two, three, four, five, six, breath. Again and again. The rhythm was in my head and was flowing through my body. I looked around; friend to my left, dark blue abyss on my right, the sand and turtle grass below, and the sun’s rays warming my back.
I looked up and froze. A blur was coming out of the darkness. As it came closer, the blur turned into a winged creature and I could see it was a spotted eagle ray. I could barely breathe as the ray passed in front of us. It flew through the water with grace and ease, not taking any notice of us. Awed, I felt this was where I belonged. As odd as it may seem, I felt at peace in the ocean, the vastest place on this earth. I will never forget that feeling of serenity, of home, being relaxed and content with my surroundings and myself. Being in that moment, not caring about anything else, forgetting my fears and my pains, I knew I had found something special. I believe in the power of nature to change a life, to give a life a purpose, and direct my life towards a place I never knew I could love.