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Mindful : August 2017
By Kelle Walsh Illustration by Paula McGloin Imake one final adjust- ment to my facemask, and 3, 2, 1... I’m under- water. I kick, kick, kick with stiff rubber flippers. The roaring of waves recedes into a sonorous hum. I’m startled to see that there are fish all around me: big ones, small ones, crowded schools moving as one shimmering mass, lon- ers going their own way. The coral is gray and worn and goes on and on— Victorian-era row hous- ing sheltering a carnival populace: a flat fish looking atmewithabigflateye,a parade of highbrow But- terflyfish, an electric-blue Wrasse with its frantic little fins, tiny Damselfish faces peering out from holes and then hiding again. A mob of Sergeant fish feeding sounds like a secretarial pool of miniature electric typewriters. Something that looks like a long pipe cleaner floats by. I turn and turn. Every- where I look there’s some- thing new to see. And then I hear it: a high tonal squeal. Then another, and another. Whales! I peer into the gray, my heart pounding, and then remind myself that whale song car- ries for miles. Just listen. I’m no longer kicking or swimming; simply float- ing, suspended in the brine. Shards of sunlight spear the sea, revealing a glitter jar of a billion sand particles. There are no thoughts now; my mind stilled. At last. ● 84 mindful August 2017 mindspace notice what you notice