The sky was cloudless and blue, the sea turquoise and as quiet as a lake. How marvelous to see these islands in the sea, the Florida Keys. “Oh, but you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait till you see what is under the surface.” “Thanks a lot, but I’m very satisfied with what I see. Anyway, I’m afraid I can’t learn to breathe properly under water, and that mask affair might be all right but I can’t trust it.”
A long discussion took place as to the trustworthiness of an air-producing machine. Our good friend kept repeating, “All you have to do is to put on the mask, jump in, swim under a bit, breathe naturally, and look.” We examined the mask and listened to the explanations of how thoroughly the whole combination could be trusted—the mask, the oxygen, the tubes leading to the source of supply. Still we hesitated. Time was going by, and our precious opportunity to see what was being described to us was not unlimited.
Suddenly we decided to take the plunge. We accepted the fact that the source of the oxygen was a trustworthy machine. We had come to realize that the purpose of the mask was to open up wonders we could never otherwise see. The next step was to stop wasting time and to get over the side of the boat, into the water, with the mask on, and to begin to swim and look.
One moment before all we had seen was blue, undisturbed surface water, as far as the eye could see. Now a whole new world opened up, as different from the world above the water as anything anyone could imagine. Suddenly it was impossible to think of anything but the awesome marvel of purple fan-like plants gently waving as if with breeze, light lavender fans with brown markings, pale beige lace leaves on another plant, and frosty mauve-colored “pine trees” that ...1
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