My Role as Writer 3

In addition to the collective, I see my role as a writer as someone who must devote time to conserving and guarding nature. I do not see the natural world as something that is outside of us, as many people are now encouraged to do, but something that is us. I have always loved animals, but recently throughout my travels, I developed an appreciation for nature as well. I am currently living on a little limestone island in the middle of the Caribbean, called Caye Caulker, Belize. This island is surrounded by mangrove trees and, for the last week or so I have exploring the mangroves from underwater. The waters around here are a warm 80 degrees and with only a snorkeling mask and an open heart, I have found worlds that have previously been invisible to me. The mangrove trees grow in the water and are not anchored into the earth. From underwater, it is as if they are suspended in mid-air, gaining their nourishment from nothing. It is here that I saw sparkling yellow and black triangular fish, called Sergeant Majors, whizzing by me and lonely underwater slugs carefully make their way through the silt, away from the dock. The mangroves near the island are full of mosquitos, but the mangroves further away, on the uninhabited island only a couple of miles away from here are free of them. “There are no people there for them to bite,” one of the locals had explained to me, “and it is there that you can see manatees sleeping beneath the water, crocodiles basking in the sun, and the most beautiful fish in the world.”

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