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Busted Halo
feature: sex & relationships
August 14th, 2003

Beyond the Bathtub

The Divine Possibilities of SCUBA for Two

by and Steve Birnie
 
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We were on our honeymoon when Steve suggested I take a dive. SCUBA diving’s great, he explained. “The water, the fish-you’ll love it!”

I wasn’t so sure. In all my years of swimming, I always believed that the water’s surface was the place to be. What if I got cold or lost in the waves?

Steve, a certified SCUBA diver, thought I was nuts. And chicken. And he was right. For all the complaints of chill and disorientation, I was really afraid of being underwater and, of course, drowning. For the rest of our honeymoon and during the next year, Steve nagged me to dive. He said it was too divine an experience to miss.

Snorkel this
I took the plunge and, pathetically, snorkeled in our bathtub . It seemed logical at the time: snorkel in the tub, then the lake, and then, maybe one day, take up SCUBA. Looking back, it was ridiculous.

Steve concurs: “There are so many ways to learn to dive?namely, by diving?but Sue snorkeled in the tub.”

And then the lake. How incredible! The water was cool, the sun bright, and the fish?rock bass and rainbow trout?circled my body. I floated and was shocked. Steve smiled at my wonder.

“After all that convincing,” he says, pleased, “it was good to see you having fun.”

The husband speaks of SCUBA and faith
“I learned to SCUBA in ’98 but-I was in college then?and no one had any money to go out for a dive.” So, since you can’t dive alone, Steve hung up his flippers. Then, in 2000, I came along and, a year later, we were married. Somehow he knew I had to dive.

“With all your talk of the Cosmic Christ, I knew you’d like it. If everything on earth is holy, then why not every thing under the water? Fish are beautiful. Sand is beautiful. Even algae is beautiful?in the right light.”

And light is important. Snorkeling one afternoon last summer, Steve ditched his snorkel and began diving deep. After a few dives he convinced me to stop snorkeling myself and to dive as deep as possible. “Then roll over, look up, and just float.”

I did. Twenty feet under the waves, I rolled, looked up, and saw arms of white sunlight reach towards my body. Back at the surface, I shared my awe with my husband: I saw God. Steve nodded. His love for diving, it seems, is more than a love for the water.

Soaked together
So SCUBA it is. My first class starts this September. Until then though, when on regular swim duty Steve and I grab our goggles and flippers and plunge beneath the waves, I marvel at how much there is to see underwater.

Like my husband , for example. He is always at the bottom, peeking between rocks.

“We do this together,” he says. “It keeps us playful. Isn’t that good for love?”

 
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The Author : Sue Birnie
Sue Birnie writes from Ontario in Canada.
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