Once a year I take a trip to Roatan Island off of the coast of Honduras to go SCUBA diving.  In 2 weeks I dive at least twice a day, getting in about 25 dives.  I also read books, eat, drink, and sleep, but diving is my passion.

After people dive they usually talk excitedly about what they saw.  Turtles, barracuda, lobsters, crabs, maybe a shark, big animals usually get us excited.  I also admit that I like the thrill of diving deep, a habit I probably should be giving up as I get older!

But a funny thing happens after my first dozen dives or so.  I find myself hanging around the reefs looking at the little animals, the fishies going about their business, maybe a seahorse when I am lucky, and the coral itself. It is a fascinating metropolis down there on the reefs, watching these animals interact with each other, take care of their babies, shoo off outsiders, etc.  On my last dive of my latest trip we watched as a turtle contentedly munched on the coral, totally oblivious to us.  It is those little things that really excite me.

I sometimes envy these little guys.  They live in such a beautiful world and they seem to be blissful and happy on their lovely reef.  If you watch nature TV you might think that animals spend all their time eating each other, but the truth is that I don’t think I have ever seen a fish eat another.  Most of the time they spend their time swimming around, munching the coral, and mingling with each other.  I think about how lucky they are to live in such a paradise, unaware of the turmoil that is upsetting so much animal life in the world.

Since that time we have had the oil spill, and I hope and pray it doesn’t spread to the Caribbean and my favorite reef.  At the same time I feel such pity for those animals that have been affected already, so many millions of lives will never be the same, and many  will be killed prematurely by a poison that they have no way of dealing with.

In my own neighborhood I have a multitude of animals, not just the cats and dogs, but the crows, seagulls, rats, mice, shrews, possums, raccoons, and the sealife just offshore in the Puget Sound.  It makes me shudder to think of an oil spill here.  Twenty years ago we had a governor Dixie Lee Raye who wanted to open the Puget Sound to oil tankers.  She was soundly thwarted by our Senator Warren Magnuson who pushed through a bill banning tankers from the Sound, forever.  During the last Republican Administration, Rep. Joe Barton tried to overrule that law.  Yes, the same Joe Barton who thinks our President should apologize to BP Oil.

Food for thought.