I went snorkeling with my daughter last weekend. It was the first time she’s put on a mask and fins and ventured out into deep water. At first she was hesitant because she couldn’t touch the bottom, but after going back to shore once, she worked up her determination, and we made it out to an area that had numerous small coral heads. She got so excited looking at the colorful fish, she nearly climbed onto my shoulders trying to tell me about them. After half an hour or so she was shivering, but I could barely get her to come back to the beach.
Where we snorkeled wasn’t the prettiest reef. The water was murky, and the fish were small and wary. The coral was nothing exceptional. In fact, I would rate it a below average area, but that was first place she’s ever snorkeled. I guess I’m just jaded. I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world—Indonesia, Palau, Palmyra, Papua New Guinea, Yap—but for her five-year-old eyes, that shabby little patch of coral was a magical place. I certainly envy a five-year-old’s wonder—everything is so new.
As I get older and I see more things, I need to remember the world is indeed a wonderous place. That below-average spot of ocean with its small coral heads and even smaller fish, is still beautiful. While I might not be able to appreciate it the way daughter did, I should still be able to find that beauty. It’s there, and I know I will see it if I put on my five-year-old eyes. I think they’re here somewhere…in my pocket…
I found your five year old eyes – they were in the washing machine. I’ve left them on the dresser for you. Love, your wife.