The Cenotes

by Joan Miller-Chapman, Learner, Writing Workshops

Darkness and cooler air greeted us as we descended, coming around the last bend. Voices echoed from the depths where an enormous opening presented itself, proudly offering to share its jungle secret. Setting down my gear I needed to stop and take in the moment. Was I ready for this? Everyone else appeared excited but an uneasy sensation filled my stomach. Concentrating instead on the beauty before me and this incredible opportunity, I prepared for the dive, telling myself to stay calm.

Light and dark hues of amber and brown limestone formed amazing shapes, some mimicking globs of thickening honey, others on their way to becoming pointed spires of slowly hardening mineral. Stalactic daggers, proof of the ever evolving earth, clinging to the domed ceiling, stretching downward like icicles. A dark liquid mirror bounced the image back. Cool still water waited, daring us to intrude.

One by one we silently lowered ourselves into the water, careful not to stir the fragile bottom silt. Releasing the air from my jacket I descended into the chilly depths, convincing myself this was no different than any other dive. Inch by inch a duplicate landscape appeared as air was replaced by water. Several submerged openings in the walls beckoned us to explore the promise of its dark and spiky labyrinth. With awe replacing trepidation, I gave the thumbs up signal, eagerly tipped my head to the destination and clicked on my flashlight.

About Joan Miller-Chapman

Joan was raised in Calgary and graduated from Ryerson’s Fashion Design program. After a great career in the apparel industry, she decided to fulfill her lifelong ambition of writing. Having travelled a fair amount, she is inspired to share some of her wonderful journeys.

Joan’s travel writing piece was written for Ann Ireland’s online course for beginning travel writers: ‘Creative Travel Writing’ (CWWR 952).


4 Comments to “The Cenotes”

  1. That is incredible Joan I didn’t know you were a writer as well as an artist!! Can I have your autograph!!

  2. Excellent writing! Yet another talent that you have!

  3. Nice tension in that article, Joanna. You are one creative lady…. writing, painting, designer, home staging consultant….what other creative stuff are planning to do? acting? buen trabajo!!

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