Do you see the magic in life? Those moments when all you can think is, ‘Wow, this is amazing, and am I so lucky’? Those are the moments I think of when I need inspiration, and motivation. Big or small, those are the moments that give me hope.
It was early spring, and even spring in Hawaii can have chilly mornings. I had planned for months to come on a solo vacation here, and that morning I had an early morning unplanned excursion. The previous night, myself and two of my roommates I’d met in the hostel had been invited on a spontaneous spearfishing excursion. Spearfishing! One of the guys who worked at the hostel was going with some friends and had invited us to tag along. We eagerly agreed, and woke up at dawn to meet them. I had no idea where we were going, but without complaint I climbed into the back of his pickup truck and clung to my snorkeling gear, shivering in the early morning chill. Half an hour later we arrived on the south side of the island, and he parked a short ways down a dirt road over what appeared to be a rocky cliff, a hundred feet above the ocean.
After applying sunblock and putting everything non-essential back in the truck, we followed our guide along the edge for a ways, and then down less-steep but still precarious-looking rocky hillside. I slipped twice and broke my flip-flop, but continued on with only a few scratches. Upon finally reaching the bottom, he pointed to a rocky ledge hanging about four feet over the gentle waves and told us that was where we would hop in the water.
My heart was pounding, but I didn’t question him. It actually wasn’t as difficult as it appeared to be, and five minutes later I was in the water and kicking away from the rocks.
Once in the water, it was an entirely different world. Along the coast was a large expanse of reef, ranging from five to twenty feet below the surface. Schools of fish darted in and out, and urchins dotted the rocks everywhere. The water was clear, so visibility was great. Everything was green and blue, with spots of colorful fish. Looking out away from the coastline I could see it got much deeper and eventually dropped off into darkness. It was an eerie feeling; a mixture of awe, fear, and excitement. The ocean is beautiful and ominous at the same time, full of miracles and mystery.
I stayed closer to the shore where the reef was about fifteen feet below me, and kept diving to get closer looks at the fish and different creatures. Our guide let me hold the spear a couple of times, but to be honest I wasn’t that interested in actual spearfishing. I really only cared about exploring and seeing the beauty under the waves.
It was on my third dive below the surface that I heard it; a ringing, melodious sound under the water. At first I thought I was imagining it, but it was easier to hear the deeper I dove. Ten feet down it was amazing. It’s difficult to describe, but it filled me with awe when I realized what it was. It was whales. There were whales offshore that we couldn’t see, and we could hear them singing beneath the surface.
It was the most magical feeling, being under the water surrounded by fish and hearing the musical bellows of these huge, majestic creatures. It was so unexpected for me, and I was absolutely filled with a sense of wonder at the world. That out there in the darkness – in the dauntingly deep water I didn’t dare enter – were amazing, peaceful animals singing to one another.
What I experienced in the water – that’s what I call magic. From an unexpected excursion I heard one of the most beautiful things I could imagine, and it has stayed with me to this day.
What do you call magic?