Imagine that you are scuba diving on a coral reef. You see small fish gliding about just above the formations. Sometimes you’ll see streams of smoke in the distance but it’s really only the bubbles of other divers enjoying the reef. It’s a relaxing dive. You barely need to swim at all because there’s a gentle current carrying you along. All you need to do is float weightlessly in the warm tropical water and glide effortlessly over and around the beautiful coral formations. All you have to do is breathe. That’s the most important lesson to remember about scuba diving is to breathe normally. To relax. To be calm. Normal breathing in and out. There’s only the sound of the bubbles as you exhale. In and out. Breathe calmly and normally and you’ll do just fine.
You gently drift along with the current and have the opportunity to experience this wondrous and magnificent environment up close. Every coral formation you see is fascinating to witness. Every outcrop is its own little community. Colonies of tiny animals all living together in one small spot. Almost everything you can see on the reef is alive. The fish are busy scavenging for food and hardly pay any attention to you as you float by. Fish that swim in coral reefs are often vividly colorful. As is the reef itself. Reefs grow best in sunny, shallow, clear water. The biodiversity is amazing. They are often called the rainforests of the sea because they are home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Sometimes you will see what appears to be a cloud of particles that’s formed above a formation. But as you drift closer, you discover that the cloud of particles is really a swarm of tiny fish that spend most of their lives gliding around just above that particular reef formation. Everywhere you look, there’s something different and fascinating to see. And as you get closer to the formations, you’ll see even more diversity that’s just happening at a smaller scale. Some of the corals are soft and look like the branches of plants that are waving in the breeze. Other corals are hard and look like odd rock formations.
It is a wonderful feeling to drift along effortlessly through this magnificent natural setting. You’d like to stop and enjoy one especially beautiful spot on the reef but the gentle current carries you on to the next beautiful spot. And then the next. Even with all the activity of the fish swimming about, this world seems calm and peaceful. There’s so much to see. Entire worlds of life pass by you and below you as you smoothly and without effort drift along in the current. You’ve spotted a lobster that has come out of its hiding place to look for food. There is a symbiotic relationship between the animals and plants that live on the reef that has been going on for hundreds of millennia. Sometimes you can see other scuba divers who are also enjoying the scenery. But there are no cell phones or background noises or chatter to disturb you here. There’s just you and the reef and your own breathing in and out. As the motion of the waves on the surface of the ocean refract the sunlight, the reef formations sometimes seem to almost vibrate in the dancing light. Around every bend, there’s something more to see. There’s nothing quite like it on dry land. You feel like you have entered a world as alien and different as another planet. Maybe we can manage to pause in one spot for just a moment and observe the activity there. It is a relaxing dive. Just drifting along. And all you need to do is float. And glide. And breathe.