Message in a Bottle

A very dear friend of mine lost her father while she was still a young girl.  She found him in bed, passed away from a heart attack. She was devastated.   She wrote a note and placed it in a bottle and tossed it out to sea, hoping that a miracle would bring him back to her again.  She loved her father so very much and still misses him to this day.

I wonder where that bottle is today; I wish I could read her note. 

Is it safe now in that ocean vault, in the heart of that endless sea?

When young girls believe in mermaids and miracles, and toss their hopes and dreams out to that great and vast open ocean, and when thirsty men drown their sorrows after a broken heart, or a dream come undone, there is only one thing that can help them to face another day.  Hope.  Hope is like that “message in a bottle,” like a prayer sent out to sea.

The ocean has many secrets, and many empty bottles litter her sandy ocean floor.  I am a swimmer.  Daily I escape the pressures of modern civilization with my head beneath the surface, looking for living mysteries, and searching for that sunken treasure.  I have yet to find my mermaid or one of Captain Cook's cannons.  But I have found more than my share of empty glass bottles.  For most people they are but rubbish.  They use them up and cast them overboard hoping they will all be forgotten on that ocean floor.

But I am a swimmer, and daily I see them.  Most of them are just garbage.  But some of them have a more interesting story to tell. And those can be priceless: the memories that become our most valuable treasures of all.  And that's what inspired me to do my small part to reclaim the beauty of the place where I swim, to clean up our ocean and to discover the mysteries of our history on that sandy floor.  Creating new memories as keepsakes to pass on to our children's children.

I cannot bring back my dear friend's father. But I can offer a little bit of hope: a little reminder of our simple celebrations, with a simple message in a bottle. I hope you too will take the time to create your own message in this bottle to inspire you to reach for your greatest hopes and dreams.

From the beaches of Kailua on the Island of Oahu, these beach bottles were recovered from the ocean floor and are now yours to keep.  May it be a reminder of how you can make a difference in keeping our oceans clean and to never give up on your dreams.

Aloha to you and your family,

Rick Gardner