Sleeping on the boat ride over to Kudaka Island, a tiny island several miles from the southern shore of Okinawa, felt like a waste of a perfectly peaceful morning. From the emerald green mountains that loomed in the distance to the rolling blue sea immediately beneath the boat, the sight was worth more than a few extra snores. The sea itself amazed me. It looked like a living thing, the sea, with every tiny depression appearing closer to an azure dragon’s skin. It swelled and fell, breathing, waiting for something to challenge it before it broke white, hungry waves over everything in its path.
I suddenly understood why people strove tirelessly to protect the sea. When you look at it with keen, clear eyes, the sea is just as alive as humans are. Pushing garbage into it is the equivalent to forking rotting food into our mouths. And though humans can dispose of any poisonous morsels, the damage can’t be undone. The beautiful sea is the same way. Trash builds up on the shoreline and the sea creatures within its belly suffer. Ironically, at the end, we humans pay the penalty for our inconsideration. The infected sea creatures, like shrimp, calamari, and fish, go straight into our mouths, and the beaches our children delight in cannot grant them love anymore.
But, if humans with seeking eyes, take a boat ride–any boat ride–over the sea, they will understand its distress. After all, the sea is an extension of life.