Thursday, March 20, 2014

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!

I'm not going to write about writing today, or tell you about my new book. Instead, I'd like to share the fun and excitement my family had today while SCUBA diving at the Blue Grotto in Williston, Florida. It's located less than 2 hours from home, but it was like traveling to a different world as we went deep into the verdant, lush farmland of the central Florida countryside. We passed so many cows I was looking for the Chick Fil-A sign.

Our daughter (15yo) has been SCUBA certified for 2 years now, so this was a nice refresher for her in advance of the Caribbean diving we plan to do this May. But the main thrill today was our 9yo son getting to dive in a deep, controlled environment. He just passed a PADI Bubblemakers course with flying colors and has been using our dive equipment in our pool for some time, and has been dying to dive like a real pro! With careful coaching by Mom and Dad, he made it to a steady 40 feet without kicking up the silt on the bottom. He even got a close up look at the friendly turtle, Virgil, and several little fish.

The reason I wanted to write about this event is to share the fresh excitement we all felt about diving today. Hubby and I have been diving for almost 15 years, but now that the kids are involved, it makes every vacation filled with possibilities. Because a 9yo has endless energy, we will all have an untiring, eager dive buddy in him (when he is fully certified, which will be in a few months), and our daughter now has another skill to rely on in life.

Diving isn't for everyone, although I have seen people who are missing a limb, in their upper 70s and older, and people so out of shape you wonder how they can even make a wetsuit that big. But the point is, divers are having fun. They are exploring a world few ever see. The thrill of having a sea turtle ignore you from a foot away or having tiny yellow fish surround you and poke at your mask is an experience most people will never know. I feel like a mermaid down in the deep blue, which refreshes my creative juices and opens my mind. It's hard to think of much of anything when you're floating on a cushion of water, gliding through the cold, crisp water of a millennia-old sinkhole.

Whatever your passion, do it often. Like to cook? Buy a cookbook you would normally never be interested in and have a dinner party. Crafting your hobby? Make bazaar gifts and donate them to your local church or women's group. Do what you like, and do it with all your heart. Writing is the big passion of my life, and I'm never happier until my fingers are tapping out the drama, lives, and loves of the people who live inside my head.

Well, there - I did mention writing! Why not write back, leave a comment about YOUR great passion?

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