Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

That Sinking Feeling

Long ago, I planned to learn scuba diving because I grew up loving the silent, graceful universe beneath the waves of local lakes. I applied for a job teaching in Guam, certain I would acquire diving skills if I lived on an island. Guam didn’t want me, and I ended up in Colorado where divers train in swimming pools and jet off to distant seas. As a poor but noble educator, I lacked the funds to jet off anywhere periodically, so I abandoned my plans.

What lies deep beneath the ocean swells? The mystery intrigues treasure hunters, scientists, and the curious alike. Documentaries give us glimpses of blind creatures and broken ships, but what of civilizations? Currently, I’m reading UNDERWORLD: THE MYSTERIOUS ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION by Graham Hancock in which he presents an argument for truly ancient civilizations drowned and forgotten in timelines that would alter written history. I’m fascinated by his hypothesis, but what caught my attention most forcefully was his research into the fate of huge swaths of coastal land that once hosted cities. When the Ice Age glaciers melted, the land was inundated. Sound familiar?

Whatever controversies differing archeologists and/or geologists might perceive or invent to support or counter Hancock’s theories, the fact remains that around the world cities and whole civilizations have been swallowed by oceans. Even if Atlantis is a fantasy, the remains of other cities lie as inescapable facts. The modern Indian coastal town of Dwarka, now partially submerged, once sat “safely” 62 miles inland. When you look at ruins resting on the bottom of the ocean, you have to realize it can happen. It did happen.

Oddly, we humans like to think the world stopped changing dramatically when we were born. We have maps that establish dots and lines we trust to remain true. Aside from distant (we hope) world conflicts that may alter national boundaries, our world feels solid. Currently, scientific predictions grow more dire as humans speed natural disasters such as the melting of the polar icecaps with their indulgences, but we still pretend the outcome won’t really matter as long as we don’t live on one of those unfortunate island nations facing annihilation. How sad for them!

I can’t help but wonder what our social and political lives will be like when Manhattan, Boston, Miami and coastal cities in various countries become divers’ playgrounds? What will a world that presently relies on these centers of commerce and culture be like? Will we be more vulnerable to war…one at home this time? Although our American government doesn’t want us to worry our pretty little heads about impending change (which they insist is nonsense), lies don’t stop Nature. You can still access maps online that predict where the seas will encroach on the land. Billionaires have multiple yachts. Will they invite the survivors of flooding aboard?

The floods and storms many are enduring in the United States and elsewhere are only a hint. We want to think global climate threats—like the rise of authoritarian regimes—belong somewhere else. We watch videos of ice bergs crashing bit by bit out of existence, and the view seems like something we would like to photograph from a cruise ship. Imagine the quantities of natural resources being exposed! Someone could get very rich! We can’t comprehend what all that extra water will mean to everyday life as the bowl fills to overflowing. Maybe I’d better take time to learn to dive, after all.

One comment on “That Sinking Feeling

  1. Frances Sullivan
    May 11, 2019

    I always fancied diving, too, but didn’t learn. Still think of doing it.

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