In the movie Boyhood, a boy is being tucked in for the night when he turns to his dad to talk about magic. “There’s no such thing as real magic in the world, right?” The boy asks his dad. “There are no elves or anything?”
The father does his best to answer honestly, while hoping to keep alive in his son the feeling that magic exists in the world. “There may not be elves,” the father tells his son. “But what if there was a gigantic sea creature with a heart as big as a car, arteries so large you could crawl inside them, and that used sonar to communicate with its giant relatives? Would that not be magic?”
The boy isn’t buying it: “But, right this second, there’s, like, no elves in the world?”
I had to laugh at how easily we dismiss the wonder and magic of what we are used to. I have always believed that the world holds more magic than almost anything we could imagine. Lucky for those of us who live by the sea, we get a constant reminder of this magic; not just the favorites like dolphins and turtles, but the beauty of jumping fish and seagulls. Just yesterday I witnessed a cormorant maneuver a fish, a third of it’s size, down its gullet and then dive back for more.
Sometimes it is hard to keep track of what is real and what are creations of our imagination. I once met a girl who believed gnomes were real. She was quite adamant that they were a Northern European tribe of woodsmen. And why not? Why would we make up something as dull as gnomes when the real world is already full of so much wonder? There are some weird deep sea creatures from the crazy looking vampire squid, to the terrifying Fangtooth fish, to the hypnotizing flashlight fish, the ocean’s deep is a circus of curious characters.
This month our writers explore the ocean. George Hurchalla shares the sad state of the effects of longlining in our area. Many nature protection organizations refer to this globally-used method as the greatest environmental disaster in the sea. There has been a noticeable decrease in marine life along the Oaxacan coast; due in part to overfishing, environmental changes, and pollution. The Chaikens explore how climate change is affecting oceans, and Leigh Morrow reminds us to be amazed by its magic.
Hopefully in fifty years kids will continue to be unawed by whales, and they won’t have joined the ranks of dinosaurs.
See you next month,