I remember the first time I fell in love. I still remember darkness flooding the room as I took my first tentative steps underground. The summer heat evaporated, letting way for a luminescent glow of underground holding tanks to cool me down. Gone were the screaming children and trails of dripping ice cream. The roar of wooden roller coasters rattling along their tracks faded away as I laid eyes upon what stood before me. Towering above was a Killer Whale, its massive figure gliding past the clear tank. I pressed my palms against the cool glass, heart beating out of my chest as wonder danced alongside fear. The whale flitted past, laughing as if she knew something I didn’t. Eyes locked into her gaze, I watched my heart open up, spilling past the glass and the concrete walls meant to contain, rather than draw in. In that moment, I was so taken by this underwater world, where beasts and creatures alike flitted past coral reefs and dancing greens in two part harmony.
There was an ancient magic about that place. A magic that stays with me to this day as I duck my head under the bubbling, pink swirls of my ceramic bathtub. Or swim past the chipped tiles of the gritty neighbourhood swimming pool. Still I am that same little girl, peering at the goldfish in the doctor’s waiting room. Through the salt filled lakes and sandy beaches, ocean diving and shipwrecked wonders, I crave it all for a taste of the allure, the mystery and the magic of my first love.
Who/what was your first love?