I grew up in the Florida Keys surrounded by mangroves and a horizon line on the water free of any obstructions. I spent my days snorkeling with sea horses wrapped around my fingers and then after awhile I returned them to their home. In the vastness of the Gulf I knew each nock, each seaman, each coral, seagrass bed, and crevice from our dock. I knew every animal’s niche and their name. In the evenings we would watch the sunset every day from the same rocks sheltering our boat basin and clap when the sun went down. Then we would watch the sky fill with stars and kiss the horizon line with their sparkle. Sometimes my brother and I would hike in the mangrove hammocks and dress ourselves in Indio Racers a beautiful black snake with colors of blue that I have never seen since. We would return them, too. My father was a shark biologist and taught us how to see. How to look through the patterns of water, mangroves, grasses, hammocks of trees, and sculptures of corals to find the moving things, the pattern that did not feel the same, the places animals would prefer to live. And then magically there some crazy creature would be living, feeding in crazy ways, patterned like nothing seen before, and never very worried about us.
This I believe people need unobstructed horizon lines to have their hearts open and access to their natural environment. To have an open-heart means you truly understand the vastness of our planet. This allows us to see the vastness of possibilities in ourselves. People need to be taught how to see the beauty in nature it teaches us to see the possibilities of beauty in ourselves. People need to see all of the species, which live in their local environment it, teaches them to hold these animal’s habitats and rights as equal to or surpassing our own. This I believe the world is there for our taking and of course we take it. We forget the health of us depends on how we take things from our very own neighborhoods and local environments. I believe we don’t have the right to take the earth, its beauty, its species diversity, and magic away from anyone. It is not mine to take but, to hold dear and to learn of its magic. I believe nature will share its beauty and knowledge if you spend time with the planet and it’s other beings. I believe nature makes us all better and promotes healing of ourselves. I believe that I could never love any place more than the Gulf of Mexico. I haven’t been anywhere else really long enough to truly see it. I believe if I went “there” I would love it, too. I would see its connectedness to my beloved Gulf of Mexico and myself. I believe it would open my heart, and I would grow more. I believe people need to be taught how to see.