Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hitchikers guide to an underwater galaxy

So here's a question...
Ever have a hobby that you absolutely loved?  Not one that you saved for rainy days when all the work was done, not one that you kept on a shelf so that you could be able to say that you do "this" or you are an avid "that"...but one that consumed you to the point that you found yourself daydreaming about it when you should be focused on more grown up things, like reality.

Today, as I sat at my desk at work, checking an email or hearing a phone ring or...or...anyway, you get the picture.  I was thinking about home.  Well, not really home, but my own little piece of heaven.  My very own living, filter feeding, swimming...well, you know, my underwater science experiment.  Now this may sound a little silly to some people, but to me, these little aquarium inhabitants have become part of everything I am.  In six months, I have taken an empty glass box, filled it with sand and substrate, threw in some salt and gallons and gallons of deinonized water; added one life form at a time, some rock, some equipment, some lights and a whole lot of love and pieced together my own little ecosystem-complete with bugs.  Pretty Cool, huh?  Now, How can I not let my mind wander to imagine what magical wonders are going on inside that box at any given moment.  Any normal person in my shoes would do the same, right?

So tonight, after the dishes were done, the emails checked, the laundry folded and some time with my amazing man, I just had to see what anomalies awaited.  I pulled a seat up to my little underwater zoo, grabbed my magnifying glass and set out so see what new wonders awaited.  I was not disappointed, but then again, I never am.  Holding the glass up to, well the glass, I could see so much more than with normal magnification.  It had been a few weeks since I had done this--the last time I did, there was alot of fuzzy stuff on the rocks that hid the amazing events that were going on beneath.   Yes, it had been a few weeks, and in the interim I had gotten a big doe eyed Kole Tang, that happens to love that fuzzy stuff....and my new little tankmate had picked the rocks clean and clear for viewing.   As I held the magnifying glass to the side of the tank I was amazed at what I saw.  It was like scuba diving in my very own living room, without the equipment.  Inside my little reef, I saw several tiny red fan worms no bigger than half an inch long as they swayed in the current.  Inside a little cave in a rock, I spotted the long arm of some sort of a black and white striped worm as it reached out to find food.  As I looked especially close, I saw a tiny little amphipod (a bug) as it crawled about on the top of a rock.  Wiggling under a rock, I saw the sand move as a small bristleworm made its way deeper into the substrate. tiny hermit crabs stirred the sand seeking food, snails cleaned the undersides of anything that had an underside and "Patrick" my bright red starfish made short work of the algae on the sides of the glass.  Now these may sound like peculiar, uninteresting or even creepy little things to most of you....but to me, they are gifts that came in as little marine hitchikers just for me.  Most of them  were hiding in the rock and arrived unnoticed until they emerged from the rock, to be cared for and to do thier part in my little underwater society.  The universe placed them in MY care and in return, each has an integral part in the maintenance and workings of my system.  I guess what really got to me isn't the fact that they are alive in there, but that fact that they are co-habitating in there under my watchful and controlling eye...and I am keeping them that way.   I just could not help but to smile as I thought, that these events occur day in and day out in my little society; with or without tank lights on. Sunshine or rain or snow or wind, they continue unknowingly that there is any world outside thier small ocean.  The joy of knowing how amazing every little creature is and the fact that they are all in my care, just was the perfect way to top off my day.

So now, tomorrow, as I am sitting at my desk (trying very hard to be a focused, conscientous employee) you and I both know where my mind will be....looking for bristle worms or looking for "pods" or imagining as my little beauties swim about, picking at the rocks or chasing each other or hovering above the gentle sway of the corals as they filter feed...sigh.   Luckily I am very good at multi-tasking or I just wouldn't get anything done.  Well, Good night everyone...I'm going scuba diving (in my dreams).


  1. Sharon well Im glad you have a great hobby- last time I tried an aquarium, all the water boiled-and the fish died maybe your husband can take you to Bermuda or Hawaii for a 2nd honeymoom and you can see the fish live -glad all is well
    (your also very brave to have a blog)

  2. You do write well, especially when it's about something you so clearly love.