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December 5, 2010

I’m taking part in a 31-day blogging challenge called #reverb10 to reflect on the past year and explore hopes for the coming year. You can read more about it here. Each day there’s a new prompt. I’m a bit behind in my posts. At least I’ve had all weekend to think about the latest couple of prompts. Here’s Day 3: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

My own breathing was the only sound I could hear. Regular, and very loud. In, out, in, out. I was cold. I wrapped my arms around my chest in a vain attempt to warm up. I could see a couple of other people in my peripheral vision. My breathing slowed as I became accustomed to this foreign environment. I spread my arms and floated, allowing the waves to gently buffet me as I let my eyes survey the scene below. I floated into even colder water and shivered. Two slow kicks and I was thankfully in warmer water. There was broken cloud above and rays of sunshine occasionally illuminated the scene, making it appear as if someone had dialed up the colour intensity to maximum. I would focus on a single fish, trying to keep my eye on just one in the school of blue and yellow. But my attention wandered as other fish came into view – yellow and black angel fish, the ridiculously multi-coloured parrot fish, strange-looking yellow pipe fish, spotted cod, schools of silvery trevally glinting simultaneously as the sun lit them up. They would disappear behind the mounds of brain coral, or underneath a coral shelf. All the coral was brownish or purple, the vibrant colours seen in advertising brochures only available to those with high-powered lights. All the while the only sound was my breathing – and even that seemed to become insignificant in this foreign but increasingly familiar environment where the scene was continually changing. A lone green turtle swam by. This was one of my dreams realised – to see a green turtle in the water. And as I was floating, staring straight down I became aware that a school of the blue and yellow fish were all around me. For that single moment I was a part of that school of fish, a part of the Great Barrier Reef, a part of the incredible diversity and beauty that surrounded me.

And then it was over, I was back on the dive boat speeding back to the jetty, on Heron Island, shivering despite my wet suit. I could still taste the salt water on my lips, I could feel the salt in my hair. I was once again apart from the world below. The sea was dark blue, giving no clue to its wonders.

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