|Photo robbed from Ninang Carmen Dulguime's|
photo bucket on Facebook!
The Great Barrier Reef is home of the best anemene…ann…ameneme…anone…? Anemone!
It’s easy enough to capture and set as a background for computer screen…or a lazy lit aquarium as we have in the house.
For some reason though, today, the aquarium look more massive than other days. I wasn’t just peering through the squeaky clean glass – I was swimming among Malakai’s goldfish and clown fish. His janitor could not be disturbed at the bottom of the tank and the other smaller fish played tag, chasing each other across the wide, open sea!!!
I was peering down the bottom of the sea, with my goggles on and wearing the orange life vest they give away during a shipwreck or a plane wreck. Everything around tasted like salt – Is this good for me, I wondered. The water was cold all around and the blue of the water seem to be takjng on a darker and darker shade as I floated forward, but the bottom of the sea remained crystal clear, with only the occasional bubbles disturbing the clarity of the view. Still, it was a fleeting disturbance.
My heart was pumping in my ears, my head throbbing, but not in a painful way. I gasped for air to clear my vision, but I’d be mesmerized again by the little, peaceful village under water when I peer through the surface of the sea again.
In my mind, I was imagining looking at a 3D painting where you need to slightly cross your eyes in order to distort the image in front that, in turn, reveals the hidden image of an elephant or what not (yes, that’s what I do). But here, the bottom of the sea creates a vision of a tunnel that seems to slowly expand in front of my eyes, beckoning me to go inside, except that, I feel anchored to the surface of the water by my life vest. So I come up for air and store some in my mouth again before I put my face in the water again.
I am tired, but I could not stop kicking – with one leg, then with both legs. To a professional swimmer, I probably look like a dog clumsily keeping mu head above water, my kicking legs are uncoordinated and my arms are flailing excitedly and falling under water when I get tired. Absolutely silly. But so what? The sound of my kicking legs and the occasional blur of the bubbles was good enough indication that I was still alive…and, yes, kicking.
My breathing was hard and heavy, like I had asthma. Everything was loud when I put y head up above water, but there was a stark contrast when I peer through the water, because then the sound of my kicking was muffled, and my beating heart was just a mild palpitation.
I can see fishes in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes – there were long, slim fishes that looked like they were 3 inches long, and smaller black ones that are rounder in shape. I saw Nemo’s family and some that looked like Dory’s, but they’re probably from another continent because they was more purplish in hue. My most favorite, though, are the bright, blue, neon-colored fishes – I saw one first, then I saw another, and pretty soon, they formed a school of fish with a bright blue glow that’s enough to light the whole place. It was amazing!
Then there was a garden of corals – flower shaped that came in all sizes! They only came in one shade of grey, which made me yearn for my brush and paint so Malakai and I can paint color into them. My, what a canvass that would make!
I needed a respite so I tried to steer myself to the direction of an anchored barge (well not really, but it looks like one and for lack of a better word, keri na yan). It was made of plastic, but it was kept afloat. I climbed up like I was climbing out of a swimming pool and was swayed to calmdom. On ordinary days, I’d take Serc when I get this feeling, but the swaying was a rhythm I embraced while I let me breathing normalize. The heat of the sun wasn’t as painful, but I can feel it burning my skin. I couldn’t care less. The view from up here was breathtaking: the greens and blues of the water has a shade of grey at the bottom, but the fishes that swam all around…oh my, is all I can say.
I muttered a prayer of thanks to have witnessed a view with front row seats. God is wonderful, indeed!
Coral: Yes, Marlin. I... No, I see it. It's beautiful.
Marlin: So, Coral, when you said you wanted an ocean view, you didn't think you were going to get the whole ocean, did you? Huh?
Marlin: Oh, yeah. A fish can breathe out here. Did your man deliver, or did he deliver?
Coral: My man delivered.
Marlin: And it wasn't so easy.
Coral: Because a lot of other clownfish had their eyes on this place.
[Excerpt from the 2003 Disney film, Finding Nemo | http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266543/]
I was beckoned back into the water, now with a couple of hands holding mine as we floated jointly back to the shoreline.
I still got scared. I was still short of breath. I still felt the bottom of the sea coming nearer to swallow me up like a monster.
But I could not keep myself from dipping my head to take in the beautiful sight. If my eyes could take snapshots of the view, I’d have a magnificent album to post now. But as it is, my challenged photographic memory can only take in as much and so I’m writing them all down here before I lose them.
To the other side, I must have looked silly with my bloated face peering down the surface every 2 minutes. I’m pretty sure the creatures below had a blast at the sight, but who cares?
I’ve slept through the early afternoon, with the salty, but clean sea breeze caressing my skin, but super glad to have been roused from this much-needed nap to see the hidden wonders of the sights beneath the shores of San Juan, Batangas.