WRITER, ARTIST, Wildlife rehabilitator


Meet me in the sea

Green sea turtle and divers, Honolulu, Hawaii. August 2017. ©Erica Cirino

Green sea turtle and divers, Honolulu, Hawaii. August 2017. ©Erica Cirino

I’ve been long drawn to the ocean, 

Its depth, its breadth, 

The way it crashes on shorelines

Vast and varied, on sand or shell,

The ocean doesn’t discriminate

Where and on what it breaks.

The ocean is unrelenting, 

The ocean is dynamic, 

The ocean is life.

It reminds me to live deeply,

Not necessarily comfortably or easily,

But to inhale life slowly and fully,

Drawing it in and breathing it out rhythmically

Like the steady streams of air I take and give

Through my diving regulator

When I’m a few dozen feet below the surface

When I kick, kick, kick my finned feet smoothly

So I can hover just above a coral reef, in the thick of

Streams of swift and sparkling fish, just above 

Several somnolent sea turtles and swirling sea grasses,

Where, nearby, I see sleek whales and dolphins swimming and playing

Sharks and rays shimmying, gliding fast with little effort,

And jellyfish bobbing up and down through the water column.

The sea is full of life, 

And, I realize, we are life, 

Like coral, a fish or a turtle, a piece of sea grass,

Like a whale or a dolphin; a shark, a ray or a jellyfish.

All of us exist together in this sea. 

The question is: Once the water gets deeper,

Once you’re surrounded by sharks,

Do you flee to the surface or sink to the bottom, 

Or do you suspend yourself

In that deep sapphire blue water of existence?

In this ocean, I hope you seek the depths,

In this ocean, I hope you’ll join me here.

Originally posted to Medium on September 1, 2017.

Erica Cirino