☄. *. ⋆ Journey to the Soul

III. Coral Reef. The Empress

    Pushing past the last of the kelp, you emerge into an open area next to the reef. You wade in position once more, admiring the bustling ecosystem in front of you from a distance. Stuffed to the brim with life of all kinds, big and small, bright and dull, your mouth is left open as you take in the sight before you. You've seen the beauty of coral reefs through pictures and videos but you decide in that moment that none of those do the true beauty of the reef any justice. The reef in front of you is almost too overwhelming, as your eyes dart from creature to creature, attempting to soak up all of the beauty that you see. It looks as though each living thing you notice is unique in its own way. Each pattern, incredibly distinct from the last. Fish that seem as though they came from fairy tales make their way around the reef, the sun reflecting off their gorgeous scales.

    You open your eyes as wide as they can go, hoping to take in all of the beauty in front of you. The coral silently provides protection and love to the many fish that rest there every night. Each creature in this underwater ecosystem plays an important part in keeping the reef alive and you feel a tangible connection between the reef and its inhabitants. You see young fish slowly learning how to move around in this strange world they live in. You see smaller fish that are lunch for the larger fish that swim in circles around the reef hiding in various holes and caves that have built themselves into the reef.

    You begin to look at all the inhabitants of the reef as peers as you notice the similarity in your own life to them. All of the occupants of the reef have a very monotonous life, repeating each day until this life comes to an end, which is a cycle you have found yourself in. Even though it benefits you in no way, you resist this cycle. You must not only find the beauty in the mundanity of life but the will to go on in it as well. Even though you feel sometimes as though you are wasting your life away, abandoning any purpose you might have thought you had, by simply being alive and allowing yourself to be connected to the world around you, you fulfill your purpose. As you gaze upon the reef, you find yourself overcome with wonder at all the fish and how their many lives are interconnected, but you fail to notice that they have also been repeating the same actions for days if not years, just as you are. The inhabitants of the reef are locked in a beautiful cycle of life, regeneration, and death and you see yourself in them. Just as these fish are, you too are locked in a cycle of life, regeneration, and death. Unable to sit still, unable to feel content where you are, you continue to search for something to fill the hole or break the cycle, not realizing that the cycle is what's beautiful. These fish have a deep connection with their living home, finding it a haven from the larger fish that consider them a meal, and they thank the reef by providing them with nutrients. You begin to imagine what the reef might have been like hundreds, or thousands, of years ago. The reef begins to shift in your mind as you imagine it growing throughout the years, kept alive by the beautiful cycle of life, regeneration, and death that all living beings are in. You see the generations of fish and other creatures that existed throughout time to provide nutrients to the reef so that it may grow into the beautiful sight it is today. As your gaze stays fixated on the reef, the water around you slowly begins to darken and the ocean begins to tense up around you...

Feel a shift in the water surrounding you...๐“‡ผ โ‹†๏ฝกหš ๐“†โ‹†๏ฝกหš ๐“‡ผ

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