Smiling When You Dive

“What about him?” I asked my friend while looking up at the sky.

“Uh, what about him?” he returned.

I looked down at his face with sun spots in my eyes for what seemed forever, temporarily blinded and unable to make out his expression.

“I think it probably hurts, holding all that light every day,” I explained.

He looked at me for a second before smiling.

“Well, that’s probably why it’s important for us to be in the water, to know what’s it’s like to balance that painful light with a soothing dark,” he answered.

I smiled in return because I’d not thought about diving quite like that, and it gave me something to feel less fearful about when he grabbed my hand, and we jumped in for what seemed the hundredth time that day, letting the warmth consume us.

The fear of diving began to go away the longer we were friends, and each time it seemed we went a little deeper, I felt it would get so dark that he’d not want to do it anymore, as that had been my experience up until meeting him. But it wasn’t like that at all, because every time we went a little deeper, vision for each of us got clearer, just as the water got warmer.

He taught me an important lesson about coming up for light, and about having faith when cold and diving in the dark. On land or water, he always held my hand, and trusting him might have been the most important lesson of all.

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