Long ago, before I left the US for the first time I was amazed by how different places were within my country. To go from barren mountains above the treeline, to the controlled chaos that is Manhattan offered such a breadth of experience it was awe inspiring. But then, once I got to Europe, I realized that many of the experiences I'd had before were similar and that Europe was totally different. It still bewilders me to know that a three hour train ride can take you too a different country with a different language, food and customs. It's not that uniqueness neccesarily makes things better but it is really spiritually refreshing. But then, alas, I got to Japan. There I realized that despite all the differences Europe and the US share a lot of how we think and interact and so, in many ways, are very similar. It was Japan that was totally, totally different.
Yesterday we took our first ever scuba dive in the ocean. It was incredible, and after 15 minutes of practicing skills (we spent 3 hours the day previous doing others in a pool) we got to swim around a coral reef for about half an hour. And I'm utterly flabbergasted. We saw thousands of brilliantly colored fish that make me seriously doubt pure Darwininian evolution. How could something evolve to be so aesthetically beautiful and to stand out like a masters painting on such a breathtaking backdrop? Floating in the water like a hummingbird was surreal but oddly felt really comfortable as well. However things work out for the rest of my life, I know this... There will be more scuba in my life. A lot more.
I also realized something else. Of all the places I've ever been they've been defined by one overriding factor. They were all generally dry. In other words they're all nearly the same. Life Underwater, however, is totally different.