Podcast/video by Gordon L, Global Development Studies student
A Love Letter to the Ocean
by Selena M, Global Development Studies student
I knew my love for you was true when I first dove into your vast waters. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was ten years old and wore a pink wetsuit, nervous yet excited to explore your beauty. I stood at the edge of the dive boat, staring off to the horizon where your water met the sky, anticipating our first meeting. I had heard all about you from so many, about the wonders beneath your surface, the colors and all the life. Then there you were, blue as the sky, glistening in the bright sun and tempting me to jump, with your mysterious depths calling me. The moment I hit the water, I felt the perpetual cadence of your waves crashing around me, oddly soothing in a way I could never explain. It goes without saying that I fell catastrophically in love with you.
The next years after our first meeting were a blur, and my love and adoration for you grew each time we met. Over the years, I was able to behold your beauty various times, and found that you were never the same. The colors beneath your surface ranged from chartreuse to wine red, the fish from small to large, and coral from soft to hard. I learned of all the ways in which you work to fuel the world, taking the carbon from our air so that we can breathe, protecting our coasts, and providing us with food. The way you work has always fantasized me, as have your ecosystems and the way you always welcomed me. My first breath each time underneath your surface felt refreshing and inviting. Your currents pulled me in and led me through your stunning reefs. The bond we had satisfied my yearning for adventure and passion. It is safe to say that I became obsessed with you in every way. I wanted to share your beauty with the world and spend the rest of my life exploring your immense seas.
I am pained by the way you have changed. Your sweet waters have been thickened by oil and acid, your colors bleached by the warming water, your fish poached from their homes, and all of this just for the benefit of ignorant humans. They don’t see you the same way I do. They see you as an everlasting resource, a garbage for when our landfills begin to overflow, a source of food and decorations for their homes. I see fragments of you wherever I go, your empty shells worn as jewelry, your fish captive in tanks, and your dried coral on display. It’s as if your ghost is already haunting me, guilting me for not doing enough to stop my species from killing you.
I hope you know I still love you. I’ll always remember you as the ocean I first fell in love with. What a shame some will never know you like I do.
Photos of Selena diving in Thailand.