Last week this time, near sunset, I was climbing up a long hill that leads up out of Hanauma Bay on Oahu. It was warm, blessedly warm, compared to the frigid cold that awaited me in California. I wore my bikini top and had wrapped my folded sarong around my waist for the trip up to my car. I counted my attire and the weather as blessings and thought of my afternoon, which I had snorkeled away. I’d never snorkeled before, and it was better than I imagined it would be.
Beneath the surface of the green and blue bay, life happens in a way I’d never witnessed. Fish of every shape, color, and size nibbled on the reef, shimmered past the enchanted snorkelers, went about the business of staying alive. Perhaps some fish aren’t allowed to nibble on the most abundant parts of the reef by the bigger fish, and maybe amongst the gilled community, the brightly colored fish are prized more for their beauty than the duller kin. But for the couple hours I spent poking around in their underwater world, I enjoyed imagining that this was a place where beings of all colors, shapes, and sizes managed to get along and share resources.
This late afternoon, I climbed another hill at the end of my run as the sun was setting. I was already shivering and could barely feel my fingers in the cold. I ran past several deer, a bobcat, some bikers and hikers, all kinds of different trees and grasses and bushes and ferns and vines, a stream running noisily from yesterdays storm, and I see it’s not so different up here, above ground, in the woods than in a Hawaiian Bay. It seems that most of nature has managed to get along and share resources, except us beings of the human variety. Tonight I wonder what more I can do to be more like the natural world.