I remember a game we would play when I was a teen. Our very peculiar philosophy teacher taught us the narrative. It was supposed to be a psychologically revealing game, and it involved questions of strange sorts. It led you, for example, to find a fruit on a table.
What fruit you found and its description were in fact revealing your wants and desires. It also led you on a walk down a road where you found a tree. The kind of tree you found was supposed to detail your inner self. Walking further on, you found a lake. The description of the lake was supposed to reveal your unconscious mind, and your reaction to the lake would in turn reveal your relationship to your subconscious thoughts. Inevitably, I always decided to jump into the lake, the sparkle of the water and the mystery was irresistible to me. An in real life, it still was. I have always jumped into a river or a lake when given the chance, with very little thought to what might lurk beneath. Although I must admit that is how I got a nasty ear infection in Lafayette, Louisiana.
But that is also why we discovered a beautiful underwater aquarium yesterday in Rio Frio, Texas. We stopped in a small side branch, hoping to avoid the crowds that like us, were looking for a place to cool off yesterday. The place we chose looked far from ideal since we wanted to kayak, and the water was quite shallow. It still offered a good upriver row, so we decided to stay. We had taken our snorkels and masks and after the initial row, I dove right in.
The water was full of long, olive green weeds that grew all the way to the surface, where they grew white and purple tiny flowers with which they seemed to celebrate having found the sun. Among the sinewy stalks, all kinds of colorful fish were hiding. There were light and dark catfish and flat, yellow and green fish darting here and there. It was unbelievable! When I managed to hold on to a fallen branch and floated in place, I could see that there were even more tiny fish that zoomed back and forth, but they were so fast that when I swam by, I did not notice them.
That was a fantastic place to swim and explore, both under and over the water. We stayed there all afternoon, until the heat became too much for our teens. I kept reviewing the sights in my mind, the darting fish, the quiet waters and how we had thought there was nothing remarkable underneath. So much like life! Sometimes we seem to be moving along, not paying attention, and what fantastic surprises might be hiding just under the surface.
Imagine if we took the time to prod further, to take the time to enjoy every opportunity to meet new people, to think about what we are doing and to ponder about what we want from our journeys. And the jumping in approach applies whether we are navigating troubled waters or apparently uneventful currents.
Both murky waters and clear creeks might very well hide valuable sights and opportunities to learn more about the deeper self inside each one of us. Take the time to dive in and explore your thoughts, your feelings and your reactions. Dive in! With a little faith, you can find out what lurks beneath!