Fun story. I am at the Houston airport and sat down at the gate to witness 2 people that were sitting somewhat back to back in the waiting chairs. They have twisted somewhat so that they are able to chat. After observing for a minute or two I had to pipe in and say to one of them “I think we met in Roatan 2 years ago….do you dive with Ted at Coconut Tree?”. And he did. So then the chatting really began as to what had been happening the last 2 years, etc. We decided to see if we could sit together on the plane. When we looked at our tickets we were in the same row (how funny is that), though a few seats apart. The plan became that if there was someone willing we would trade seats to sit together and visit on the way.
A lovely gal came and prepared to sit in her assigned seat but willingly agreed to the trade when my newly-found friend asked if she would swap. As the chatting continued with her as well we realized that she was also connected to Coconut Tree and had actually been told to look for me on the flight. How interesting the universe is that sometimes it puts together people, all in the same row, that it would seem were meant to be.
But the welcoming community of Roatan, and the diving world, doesn’t end there. Other folks that I met on the island 2 years ago and have kept in contact with continue to reach out. The folks at the dive shop, some whom I recognize though not all, are also welcoming. We went out my first night here, and as I sat and sometimes just observed, sometimes joined into the conversations, I was struck by how welcoming this community is. How vibrant and, in some ways, child like the energy is.
Though often the phrase “child-like” has a negative connotation, that is not at all what I mean today. It is that easy flow of “hi, do you want to be my friend?” that we somehow often sadly miss as adults. That sense of awe and wonder as each talks about diving, gets excited about what they have seen, hope to see, or anticipate getting back into the water again tomorrow. One fella explained it eloquently as saying, it is not that you are each going and doing something and coming back to share and compare stories at the end of the day, it is about doing something together with others and sharing the experience in that moment, finally being able to voice your excitement about it once you resurface to the boat.
This is a welcoming community, one that doesn’t judge based on size or age, perhaps only on whether or not you are a safe diver and respectful of the beautiful environment and ocean we are experiencing together. Nobody knows if others on the boat have cash coming out of their ears or are perhaps living the hippie lifestyle that sees them squeaking by on their dollars to dive. It is truly about supporting one another’s experience of something special that this life can offer.
Needing to complete a little refresher (starting today), I am looking forward to getting back into that beautiful place of peaceful appreciation and awe of life and the opportunity to experience new shared stories.
Wishing you each your own opportunity to behave like a child today – you never know what special new friend you will find.
With love, Glenna