So, I was snorkeling in Mexico the other day…
Okay, it was last month, but I wish it was the other day. Hell, I wish it was today for that matter.
Anyway, I was snorkeling in shallow water, right off the beach of our hotel. Just floating there, letting the waves and currents take me, observing.
I had been out for a couple of hours kind of deliberately snorkeling; swimming around looking for stuff. And I had seen some pretty amazing things (I’m a Pisces, so this was like letting a kid loose in a toy store….aka my idea of heaven).
There were rays, jacks, some pretty stinkin’ big french angel fish, beautiful blue tang, cute polka-dot trunkfish, stunning brightly colored basslet fairies, parrot fish (I love their comical bucked looking teeth) and these little yellow and black bastards that were kind of aggressive and thought my hair & parts of my bikini (and once my upper arm – ouch!) were edible…I have no idea what they area called, but they seemed to be everywhere.
I saw a spotted moray, an ocean triggerfish and got closer than I would have liked to a barracuda almost as long as I am tall who was doing an excellent job of blending into his surroundings. I can sum that up for you in three words – holy shit, TEETH!
I even chased a puffer fish well out past the buoy marker for where the reef dropped off, in a vain attempt to get it to “puff”. Turns out they swim a lot faster than me and will flee rather than puff if they can. Bummer. That’ll teach me to believe Finding Nemo.
Did I mention this took place in waist deep water, only a few yards from our hotel balcony? Yeah.
I was positively elated from all of the fantastic sea life I had seen and frankly feeling quite spoiled by the splendor.
I was getting a little tired, sort of hungry and I totally had to pee, but I couldn’t tear myself away. This is when I started to just let myself drift around. Conserve energy and that sort of thing. Maybe even convince my bladder to shut up.
It was pretty shallow. Floating there I initially saw nothing but some rusty colored seaweed, rocks, flotsam. Lots of beiges and browns…no gloriously colored things like I had been seeing.
“There is nothing here”. I thought, and I was just about to turn back to the deeper water and find a different area to explore.
“No, I know better than this…there is always something going on”, I reminded myself, and I stilled my mind, let go of my expectations and floated.
Then I saw him. A teeny, tiny squid. He (for some reason I have decided it was a he) was only about 2″ long. The size of my pinky.
If he hadn’t been moving, I never would have spotted him. He was translucent with these rust colored blotches that kept pulsating, changing and moving. His camouflage was flawless in the bland seaweed.
I was transfixed. I have kind of a thing for squid and cuttlefish (and calamari, but I didn’t mention that to this little guy) and I resolved that I would watch him until I pruned beyond all recognition.
He propelled himself along under me. Every now and then he would shoot out his two longer tentacles, catch a miniscule bit of…something I couldn’t see, and eat it.
A few times as he was jetting merrily on his way, he stopped and struck this pose that made him look like a scary, squiddy claw. His coloring would turn on full blast so that he looked as big as possible. When I glanced in the direction of his defensive posture, I would see a large fish cruising by.
He was a perfect miniature of reef squids I had seen in aquariums or on TV. Right in front of my eyes. In real life.
Two inches long and this little creature was fearless. He hunted. He protected himself. He instinctively adapted constantly to what was going on around him. He flowed gracefully through his world.
As I observed him I realized some of the biggest life lessons can present themselves to you in the most seemingly insignificant of places.
I kid you not when I say that he was one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen. I still think about the experience and smile. Floating above what I thought was nothing but some boring seaweed and – boom – into my life squirts a tiny cephalopod buddha.
And I easily could have missed it. I took a sweeping view and nothing flashy caught my eye, so I almost moved on.
Only by releasing my expectations and focusing willfully on that moment was I able to see him there, in all his diminutive glory. I got a glimpse into the microcosm and IT. WAS. BREATHTAKING.
Something amazing is always happening. There is always something going on.
Stop. Breathe. Be open to even the tiniest of miracles. Each and every moment really is extraordinary.
Be happy in this moment my friends, you just may find it holds exactly what you need.