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An Underwater Epiphany

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on December 28, 2019 08:19

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Epiphany – noun: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I spent the last week diving the reefs and cobalt waters of Mauritius. And I remembered a moment, years ago, when I found some reality and a new outlook under water.

Work troubles, a marriage falling apart, nothing working out. We have those moments. Some worse than others. Then a late night phone call: "We are diving in the south tomorrow."

I accepted, just to get away. At five in the morning, the pickup was there. A long ride on bad roads, then a confusion of friends and strangers, a fishing boat, equipment being sorted out, a ride over an unfamiliar sea.

Kingfish over dying coral. Photo Shahnaz van Wyk


I heard little of the dive briefing, and cared less. Did it matter where we were diving, or what depth? Only a chance word or two: "Don’t fin." 

Between depressing thoughts I wondered at that – how do you dive without finning? Then the divers went over the side, and I followed.

Below me they bombed down into the deep blue, trailing streamers of bubbles. I saw the bottom appear, and checked my depth gauge: 56 meters -- far deeper than I like to dive.

Ahead of us a rock wall, and one by one the divers disappeared into a dark hole. Another thing I usually refuse to do underwater.

I had little choice. We dive in a group, and the others had all gone into the tunnel, which was why you weren’t supposed to fin and stir up sand. I cautiously pulled myself along, into darkness. Below my some coral rock, and I thought that my bones would lie here too.

But then I turned a corner. 

Cathedral at Snake Island. Photo Shahnaz van Wyk


Sunlight flooded in from above, an ethereal blue like a cathedral. Golden fish fluttered in the shifting rays. High above my friends were ascending, encircled by silver bubbles. I followed, towards the sun. Hanging in the azure stillness to decompress, the waves a rippling silver above, I could collect my thoughts.

We surfaced, and I had never felt so alive, so ready to try anew, to face the world.

Big or small, we all have our problems and pleasures. Photo Shahnaz van Wyk
Coen Van Wyk

Posted on December 28, 2019 08:19

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Source: Daily Mail

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