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Diamonds in the South China Sea

Diamonds in the South China Sea

There’s a simple trick to finding that unique spark of magic in any child: listening.

We had just arrived at Pulau Tiga and within an hour we had swimsuits on and were in the water. It started to rain and then it started to pour, but both the air and the water were so warm that it didn’t matter.

We’re a group of 25 and each with a unique personality that makes it something of a game to discover the quick moments of insight from any of them. You only need to do one thing: listen.

Do you listen to your children? Or at least to someone else’s children?

A 12-year old girl looked at the rain dropping from the sky in huge drops. The skies were dark grey and ominous. Around us was only sky, water, sand and jungle. The water was also a dark grey although not quite as dark as the sky.

She’s quiet and shy and doesn’t say much. But it’s one of those cases where you pay attention when they do say something because it doesn’t happen so often. There are others who talk incessantly and what they say tends to get lost in their own noise.

“It looks like,” she started, but then pondered her thought either to find it or let it find her. “It looks like diamonds falling from the sky.”

We’re in a tropical rain forest and the drops of rain here don’t mess around. They are big and they are abundant. They don’t just sprinkle a dusting of hydration of leaves, they come down in force and land with authority.

Each drop hit the South China Sea and seemed to ignite a white flash of tiny light. As if carefully placed to drop equidistant from each other, the scattering of diamonds appeared a hand’s width from each other and continued as far as you could see.

They disappeared as quickly as they were created, so there was no diamond mining going to be happening here. No cameras in the downpour either, so we’re going to have to revert to our imaginations and memories.

After some amount of time no one bothered to measure, the drops reduced in size and the bright light dimmed eventually into nothing and soon it was no longer bright white diamonds falling from the heavens into our sea but water dissolving into water.

No bright lights, no calling the press. Not even gathering others to witness. Just a few moments of observing the nature around us and sharing it with someone.

There is beauty all around us. What do you see?

Diamonds in the South China Sea [Pulau Tiga, Borneo, Malaysia]

Diamonds in the South China Sea [Pulau Tiga, Borneo, Malaysia]

About The Author


I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.

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