Epilogue: Manta Ray Ballet

Posted on December 31, 2017

For me, some things can only be described in the form of a poem, or in my artwork. Such was my first experience with the giant Manta Rays…

The first time I laid eyes on a Manta Ray, or rather several of these amazing sea creatures, was in December of 2013. And although I have been an ardent scuba diver since 2006, it was also my very first night dive. This experience was so completely mind-blowing to me, the next morning I wrote this poem. Since then, Steve and I have visited the Mantas every year. Every one if these visits is unique,  and I never get tired of the privilege of entry into their world. 

The photograh above is of our first experience and was taken by a professional underwater photographer. Steve is in the foreground, and sitting next to him in the cap with the bright yellow stripe, is me. Next to me is Luke, the “Angel Guide” in my poem.

The following is my humble attempt to describe the indescribable ~


Manta Ray Ballet

To jump, by faith alone,
into the inky darkness
of the vast unknown.

The night-time sea
was to me
as I imagined the task
of dying must be.

And like leaving
the world I know,
with my heart held
in my hands
that trembled so,

There I found myself
in the depths below.

I was glad I had no shame ~
no reason to harbor false pride.

Thankful, I admitted
the icy fear I felt inside.

And in my honesty,
God’s love would not be denied.

For He sent me help,
in the form of
an Angel Guide.

My Angel protected me
and kept me safe.
He understood my fear
and kept me gently near.

And so the three of us ~
my Angel Guide
and my husband…
below the rising tide,

Sat on the ocean’s floor,
together ~ side by side.

And as beams of light
from our flashlights did unite,

A rare harmony began,
as together we beheld

In childlike wonder,
awestruck with sheer delight,

An unearthly, breathtakingly
beautiful sight.

It was a moment so holy,
together we three shared.

For an hour, the three of us
did dare ~
to look upon a sight
so incredible and rare.

With grace and beauty
so completely
beyond compare.

So unearthly it was,
I wondered,
Was I really there?

Impossible to describe
was this amazing,
breathless, yet
gentle array.

I found myself there
sitting below ~ helplessly in love,

I watched their grace
barely an inch above
my awestruck face.

Swirling and rolling
and returning again,
and yet again unfolding ~
this wordless display.

Yes, this was the hallowed moment
of the giant but gentle,

Incredible, unspeakable ~

Manta Ray Ballet.

~ tricia woodworth
      December 5, 2013



everything else seemed to come together... My creativity, my love of helping hurting people, my belief in art as a healing agent and my faith in a God who is filled with love for us all.
Load Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Previous Post: My Christmas Treasure Chest

Posted on December 15, 2017

There’s a special box under the tree this year… just for you to open. But only when you are ready. Just a few days ago I awoke with a start … Continue Reading

Next Post: Forgiveness is an Open Door

Posted on January 21, 2018

”We are but actors on a stage, and God is the unfooled audience.”  ~ John Calvin   This is not really a New Year’s blog ~ although it is about endings … Continue Reading


Thank you for visiting my site. If my writing or art connects with you, I’d love to hear from you. I’m also available as an art teacher to students of all ages. In addition, I mentor marginalized students, using art to help them find their unique voice and move toward their full potential.