As promised, words - taken from the tablet and not the computer - from a recent trip to paradise: The Virgin Islands - US - Coral Bay - where feral chickens, goats, pigs, and donkeys chomp up the shrubbery alongside skinny roads, where remote beaches beckon, and endless underwater kingdoms turn a landmammal such as myself into a ravished prune. Though I enjoy a good beach and furry doe-eyed creature, the nether regions of this aquamarine Caribbean are why I'm here.
A few years ago, two perhaps, you would not have convinced me to travel to such a place for the sole purpose of underwater adventuring, but six months ago, while vacationing on the big island of Hawaii, after sliding my way into the Pacific I fell in love (and I don't use that term lightly) with the quiet beneath.
Most of the time, 80% of the time, I am at ease underwater. I'm content listening to fish feed off the coral and my own hollow breath. The other 20% of time is (unfortunately) gobbled up by random fears, fear of being swept into a riptide or being impaled by a stingray, or chewed up by a shark, or something slinking up my vagina and turning me into shrimp. During these moments, my breath shortens, my muscles tense and with the strength of a budding Olympian I swim to shore. Alas.
What is it about this activity that brings so much pleasure to a girl from wherever, who oftentimes has difficulties sitting in silence for longer than 2.5 minutes, who sometimes asks random strangers to kick the breath from her lungs in order to placate heart palpitations? The weightlessness and wonder of floating amongst tiered reefs, dancing seaweed, and a fireworks display of fishes that swim in and out of my peripheries are like dreams I have always longed to have.
There are people who claim to fly in their dreams. They hover and spin and barely hit the ground only to come up again to win and claim the air as their own. I'm not one of these people. No, though my dreams are often bizarre and fascinating enough to keep my slumbering eyes twitching, I never dream in flight. And so, to me floating around as the sun bounces it's flirtatious light into watery crevices is the closest I have come to wings.