It is not a plain blue, like the denim cotton of my jeans or of a Pilot ink pen, but a warm sapphire speckled with viridescent patches. The same sun, which sets my skin aflame and turns it a pinkish red, decorates the water’s surface with acres of diamonds.
Bobbing in the middle of it all, my eyes look down to identify the untroubled underwater life, where the coral and the rock serve as buildings, the creatures meandering through the apertures. It is a city in itself, and the largest one at that. It is odd to think that to be in an unknown place not even half the size of it, by myself, I would feel lost. But here, in this colossal stretch we call the ocean, it's the grand feeling of freedom.
I swim several strokes, distancing myself from the shore. The fish make quick and swift turns to avoid me, as I take care to avoid the solid towers. The salt water hurts my eyes, but it is tiring to associate swimming always with the bare cement bottom of the school pool.
In enchantment, I watch the underwater life, strenuously keeping my eyes open to catch the last of the details. I concentrate on the speed of the fish tail's wiggles, and follow its tracks until it leaves my sight, and then hope a turtle or a spiny dogfish may just make a special last-minute appearance for me. My body demands I stop surveying, even though my mind craves to see more; reluctantly, I look up.
The water drips from the tip of my nose, intruding slowly into the gap between my lips and I can taste it with a pang. The briny undiluted flavor of the ocean water reaches my tongue, as I anticipated, and I flinch a little. I don't try to rub it off, for my whole body is smothered in the same water.
The sun already begins to absorb the moisture and my taste buds ceases its tingling. I smile as though what I had just seen was a secret. It makes me gleeful to know that no one else would carry a memory of the same experience; the angelfish that wandered through the oval shaped whole in the rock, and the pregnant seahorse hiding behind a coral wall. Then the strand of seaweed that clung onto my forearm, as sea lice bit my leg. Even just that one snippet of my brief affair with nature, I don't share with anyone.
I cannot claim to understand the activity that unfolded, and still unfolds beneath me as I float here aimlessly; I remain curious on purpose. There is a lot in this world I would like to understand, but with nature all is much more fascinating when it is unbeknownst to me, than it is frustrating. Perhaps I shouldn’t call it curiosity at all, when I have no desire to satiate it.