Sunday, March 22, 2015

World Water Day & the Blue embrace

The chilly, yet welcome, embrace of Blue engulfed me; 
as I took the plunge, she cradled me in her arms. 
Without a wetsuit, the shock of the spring instantaneously awoke 
my sleepy mind, silencing stress and the morning symphony of birds. 
Bubbles, then reflective, blue silence, filled my eyes and ears 
as the underwater world painted the sky.

This reflective world is my escape; it is the place I go to relax, where I capture colors, feelings, and patterns in the invisible sky. The springs are my canvas and water is my obsession - what does water mean to you? Today, World Water Day, is the perfect time to take a break and share a few photos and musings on the subject of this seemingly ubiquitous, yet coveted, liquid gold - and encourage you to do the same.

One of the may things that fascinates me about water is that 97% of the liquid freshwater on our planet is found beneath our feet. Here in Florida, 92% of the population relies on this invisible water as their main source of drinking water, but because it's hidden in aquifers, it is often out of sight, out of mind. Do you ever wonder what it looks like in the aquifer? Here's a little glimpse:

Invisible water isn't just below ground - in fact, if all of the water vapor in the earth's atmosphere were in liquid form, it would cover the earth in about an inch of water. Anyway, these facts, stats, and thoughts are just a few of many water-related ideas that have been flowing through my mind over the past few weeks as I've been working on several stories that have to do with the aquifer and springs.

But I know that not everybody spends this much time obsessively thinking about water... So, one of my goals is to share views from underwater places that people may never get the chance to experience for themselves - and to share unique views from places people have visited... views that seem to bend reality and invite you to explore. In some small way, I hope these photos help people fall in love with our precious springs and become inspired to learn more, or perhaps decide to take the plunge and experience the underwater world for themselves.

Jacques Cousteau’s famous words “we protect what we love” are ringing in my head. If we can raise a generation that loves springs and cherishes our water and the creatures that live in it, we will have done something truly revolutionary and amazing... So don’t take water for granted - World Water Day should be every day - but at least for today, think about what water means to you and share it with others: inspire your friends and family, neighbors and coworkers, to better understand how important water is to them personally and our society as a whole.
Walking on water at Seven Sisters.
More water walking on the Ichetucknee.
As for recent adventures, Greg and I have been walking on water, exploring the Chaz and the Ichetucknee on our new inflatable standup paddle boards. I've been spending an equal amount of time in the caves (and much more time reading/on the computer/in classes) and am excited to share a cave diving story via a short video very soon.

Anyway, despite the alarming water headlines that have been dominating the news, from the opposite coast in California to right here in Florida, there is still a lot of beauty to cherish. Even if it is beauty in the breakdown. Realizing that there is still so much left that is worth protecting (and much more to explore!) gives us an even greater reason to seriously think about how our everyday actions affect our precious water. And of course the best place to reflect on these ideas is to dive in and experience the undeniable joy and connection we feel when we are embraced by blue...

Happy World Water Day!