Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Life

Photo taken by Harley Dufek in Labadee, Haiti June 26th, 2006.

Last June (the 26th to be exact) is the first time I stepped into the ocean waters since boogie boarding after my first brain radiosurgery treatment in July 2004. Prior, my last dive (scuba) was at Titlow Beach in Puget Sound (Washington) in March of 2004 just days before it was discovered that one of my tumors grew substantially and was in immediate need of treatment.

From the treatment I developed a vertigo in the water which prevented me from the water activities I used to love. Fortunately, I was able to overcome these challenges and enjoy my love of the sea snorkeling on a vacation last year.

It was absolutely MARVELOUS! I had so longed to back in the sea with the fish and marine life (in my element). The clear water, colorful fish, coves, and reef life were stunning. We had fun poking our heads into little nooks and crannies to see what surprise awaited us.

When we rounded a rock outcropping we came upon an interesting site which I have known about for a long time but have never witnessed. Sitting peacefully in the water were two large round cement structures with portholes covering the body of the spheres.

I became extremely excited of my find and swam around to inspect the new life growing on the structures which had probably not been laid there long (maybe only a year or two or even months old). It was interesting to see how a faint light blue and yellow fish with black stripes took on the duty of guardian of these great spheres. It was protector of all within the sphere and the new life growing on it. The sphere had become its "artifical reef" and home now.

I was so pleasantly pleased to witness this spectacular site and the new life emergining. It made me giddy and happy inside but also curious of how the spheres came to be and what was the story behind them.

You may also be wondering what these spheres were. They are actually part of an eternal reef memorial. I have know about them since I was in college (shortly after I became a certified scuba diver at age 19). In leu of a plot burial, a jar of ashes, or ashes scattered in the wind, one can decide to continue on with life and become part of a "reef". Hence "old life" gives birth to "new life" and the cycle continues on.

In fascination and awe, my mind weaved tales of their being. There were only two spheres. Were the spheres of an older couple who had once honeymooned there together? How romantic. It is unsual for eternal reefs to be placed alone in international waters. This particular part of Haiti is owned by an American Cruise Line which is private and only for cruise guests. Thus I wondered if this was a magical and memorable place for these two people where they wanted to be laid to rest and become something bigger (part of the whole).

Eternal Reefs:

Atlantis Memorial Reef Project:

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