It began in the Westin Hotel pool on Maui. Well, truth be told, it began with a prayer four months earlier, the day I decided it was time to end 40 years of intense aquaphobia. I asked God to help me overcome this fear born of a failed attempt to tread water during third-grade swimming lessons. I asked my Bible study group, friends at church, and my sisters-in-law to all pray for me. I wanted to snorkel, but I had to conquer this aversion to even the deep end of a pool first.
I stood in three and a half feet of water and donned my snorkel mask as my husband lounged poolside patiently waiting for me to put my face in the water and swim. We couldn’t snorkel Black Rock if I couldn’t master breathing through a snorkel tube in this relatively calm environment. He chuckled as I flapped my lower arms up and down trying to drum up the nerve to breath underwater.
I succeeded! Then on the day I turned 50, I snorkeled Black Rock. Later that week, Honolua Bay and Honokahua Bay. I’ve since encountered Humuhumunukunuku’apu’a’a, octopus, huge sea turtles, Lau Wiliwili-Nukunuku-Oioi, spotted eels, yellow butterfly fish, and more. I’ve marveled at the beauty of God’s underwater creation at Molokini Crater, Kapalua Bay, Hanauma Bay (Oahu), and on the Island of Lanai. What began as a timid attempt to simply float face down in a pool turned into a lifetime of savoring the charm of reef life. I can’t wait to find the next reef or bay to snorkel.
Relaxing in waves
Sun dappled reef and fish
What season? Who care
The new year begins with a new Haibun prompt at dVerse Poets Pub this week. Bjorn is looking for Haibuns about new beginnings. I almost wrote about my new poetry prompt that I started last Friday, but decided to go a different route with this fun travel journal entry about the end of a phobia and the beginning of a love of ocean reef life.