Nervous. Excited. A mix of both. But in the end the anticipation of something new to discover won. After a little bit of theory I walked, fully equipped, towards the beach. Slowly we entered the warm water. The further we went, the lighter it felt. Inhale. Exhale. Mask on. Mouth piece in. Inhale. Exhale. They say, you never forget your first breath. And as we dived I experienced the sensation of breathing underwater. I gave myself in, completely allowed myself to let go of the fear, the panic I had for a minute. And as we dived deeper and deeper, I became so calm, so at peace, as if I was made to be flowing weightlessness in this other world. Sand, a light current, rays of sunlight penetrating through the surface, absorbed by the water but still making it all the way down to the bottom of the sea. Dim, mystic light. I had left all my thoughts on land, there was just me and the unique sound the ocean. Almost like it was humming to me. One fin kick, two, glide.
Unforgettable is the moment, when one big aquarium opened its doors in front of me. Like when I was a child at the zoo, only then I had to press my nose against the glass, but there I was, in the middle of it all. Corals with tiny yellow fishes around them, a small black one over there and right before me, a silvery shining fish swarm danced between the rocks. I could not express the sensation of happiness rushing through my body but putting both my hands on my heart and grinning inside my mask. My whole focus was now on the underwater world. I was my feelings. The feelings of joy and gratitude. A silent visitor to this other world.
A tiny, flamboyant blue in the middle of cream-coloured fishes caught my attention. The lone one, the one a bit too colourful, a bit too different. Me.
When I spotted the spiky black and white one, I had to linger for an instant. As a child I always felt sorry for them. So little space they had in the aquarium. No freedom to swim wherever they want, I thought. And yet, it sticked to the one coral in front of me. Its safe home. Who knows, perhaps it doesn’t need more...
Another couple of minutes had passed and slowly the magical moment started to vanish.
The light got brighter, the sun dazzled my eyes. We were back up on the surface. I was so stunned by what just happened, 30 minutes felt like eternity.
I might go back and do the open water course but I will take some time to keep this memory as a precious treasure in my heart. As a unique encounter with an other world.