Time had passed longer than the ocean itself, when we were swimming in colder waters.
“Mom, please tell me the story about the dark spot,” little Tory begged.
“And how about going to bed, young man?” Margot frowned.
“I’d also like to listen to it,” I supported my son. “What do you say, Atli?”
“You’re right, Margot. It’s time to go to dreamland, but there are two of them. I think that a short story won’t hurt anyone, right Tory?” she winked at him, smiled and started:
“Well, you were still in my belly, Tory, when your dad and I swam in distant waters. The ocean had gone through hard times; animate beings were dying, and the water was full of things that didn’t belong there.
“Your dad and I were about to take a breath, when I got stuck in those things. As I was trying to free myself from it, it tightened around me even more.
I couldn’t breathe and was too weak.
Your dad was completely powerless. His eyes showed great despair. I felt sorry for him.
“Then suddenly a boat arrived. It scooped me up with another net and started pulling me out of the water. I knew that my end was near.
“Your dad and I looked at each other for the last time.
I felt sorry that our baby would never be born.
It hurt. I closed my eyes and awaited the worst.
I could feel and hear them running around me.
And then ...
“The pain ceased. I opened my eyes and saw them, those upright bipeds. They poured water on me and removed the last remains of the nets and trash.
I was confused.
“Then they lifted me up, using some big thing and lowered me down into the water.
Your dad was waiting there.
I suddenly felt so strong and happy. I circled around him a few times and jumped above the water to look at my rescuers once more.”
Rescuers ... I repeated inwardly to myself and watched Atli. She looked beautiful and was shining with happiness, just like our son.
I wished my parents were still alive and I could tell them about our adventure. I wished Tory had a grandpa who would pass his experience and knowledge on to him and who would keep telling him stories of his youth. I wished they all could visit and we could watch them arriving.
We would feast on krill, swim light-heartedly, remember the difficult times when the ocean was suffering and then we would celebrate the life we were living.
But it wouldn’t happen. Their souls didn’t belong to their bodies anymore.
“Daddy,” a tender voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Daddy, Daddy,” Tory insisted, “they’re good creatures those bipeds above the surface, aren’t they? How they rescued mom. We should rescue them too some day.”
I smiled and pressed against him. Atli and Margot swam in front of us.
“You know, Tory, they actually rescued themselves as well.”
He looked up at me, surprised. “I don’t understand, Daddy.”
“Your grandpa told me that we realise most things when it’s too late. He often repeated It’s too late for him or her. But the upright creatures still had time and they managed to realise it. They understood that they wouldn’t survive without a healthy ocean and the animals living in it. It didn’t change overnight. It was a long journey, and still is.
“The truth is, my dearest treasure, that everyone makes mistakes. And you will too. But it’s important to correct them and to learn from them. That’s the only way in which we can all live together.”
“So, when they rescued Mom, they also rescued themselves?”
I looked at him and smiled. “Yes, you could say so. It was the beginning of a journey. But a different one than when you swim to a reef and back. It was a journey of hope.”
“I like such a journey. I look forward to setting out on mine.”
“Hurry up, you two!” our small Nanny yelled. “It’s bedtime, young man. Come on!”
“Margot’s right, son. Dreams await you,” I caressed him with my fin.
Tory soon fell asleep. It was a beautiful, bright evening in the clear ocean. The sun spilled its last gleam of light over the surface.
“I’ve heard about a place with crystal clear water,” Atli suddenly said dreamily, “where shoals of yellow striped fish are swimming,” she paused and winked at me.
“And a few matt red and orange fish mingle among them. Right behind them a shoal of violets, as they call them, are gathering.
Suddenly, everyone swims in different directions as a Shark emerges, big and strong. He passes you by with a polite greeting.
The surface above your head is swirling, as wild waves reach the shores.
It seems like a different world when you look up.
But a second later, you look down again, something attracts your attention ... Yes, the diversity of all the colours, shapes and sizes that extend all over the seabed ...”
“The place has its own laws. I remember one. It goes like this:
You poor creature covered in flesh, instead of worrying about being eaten by someone in the future, you’d better smile and enjoy every healthy swish of your fin.
What will be, will be. With or without you ...”
“So, let’s swim!” Margot added with a wily smile.
“I actually know such a place,” she continued. “I can show it to you, if you like. They say it’s a good place to be now.”
I was holding my laughter. “Really? I’d like to see it, Margot. Well, if you really know where it is.”
“I’m absolutely sure about it!” she exclaimed.
“Excellent. Let’s swim!” Atli cried.
We all burst out laughing.
The sun disappeared behind the endless horizon. I looked at my family.
So, let’s swim, I smiled inwardly. Let’s swim ...
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