I adjusted my mouth piece and then bit down hard to make sure it stayed firmly in place. I kept my fingers curled tightly round the hot metal bar on the edge of the boat hesitating yet again, making sure that I really could breathe freely with the scuba diving equipment. An impatient glower from the dive master sent me somersaulting backwards into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

From as far back as I can remember our biannual family vacation had been at the coast in Kenya. Here, when I was a little older, my father would wake me up early and we would watch the sun rise together. I suppose that this was the root of my love of nature and it subsequently gave rise to the desire to share with others the beauty of creation.

She clutched her throat a few times and then held her hand out towards meThis diving expedition was my first step towards that dream. Our boat was anchored outside the harbor of Mombasa on Kenya's coast and this was my first dive after completing a rigorous training course. There were five novice divers on our team of sixteen and each one was paired up with an experienced buddy. I stayed very, very close to my buddy, Sandra, as I paddled ten, then twenty meters down into the clear water.

As the water piled above me, and I found I was still breathing, I gained confidence and I began to imagine myself as a dive master: I would lead my team along routes that only I knew existed, I would show them the beauty of G‑d's underwater world and teach them about the wonders of creation. Anyone who dove with me would emerge spiritually uplifted. These thoughts, at ease with me through dint of familiarity, flashed through my mind in a second or two. Then I was caught up in the beauty of the quiet, wet world.

The coral reef lining the bottom of the lagoon was a living throne for a plethora of fish. A single angelfish, his bright yellow stripes standing out on a black background, floated by lazily. A shoal of easily identifiable zebra fish, came next. Moving my flippers gently, I followed my buddy to an outcrop of the reef. Ahead of us, the rest of our team swam onwards.

On an outcrop of the reef, I saw a peacock grouper, who, indignant at being disturbed, stuck his long nose up haughtily and dared me to come closer. A pink anemone, its folds draped gently over the coral, tempted me to touch it. Even though I knew from past experience that my finger would get stuck, I poked it softly, and then pulled back hard, the tip of my finger covered with sticky glue. My buddy and I swam round the reef taking care to keep the other divers in sight.

As I relaxed more, I began to spot hidden fish myself. I pointed out a deadly poisonous scorpion fish, partially hidden under the dim recesses of a coral shelf, his feathery fins waving us away in warning.

Suddenly, Sandra stopped swimming.

I wondered if this was what eternity looked likeShe turned round quickly and her flippers sent a cloud of tiny bubbles towards my mask. When they cleared I saw her signaling frantically: she clutched her throat a few times and then held her hand out towards me. The bubbles that were supposed to be drifting out of her mouth piece were no longer there. My training knocked in and I immediately knew what she meant.

Twenty meters under the surface of the sea is not the ideal place to run out of air, I wanted to scream. Why didn't you check your tank? I was terrified of giving her my mouth piece; I didn't want to share my air. What if she decides to keep it? The thoughts flashed through my mind. Now she was tapping my hand urgently, begging me to share my air. She knows I'm afraid. The thought took the sickening edge off my fear.

I took a big gulp of air and did what I never thought I would have to do. Twenty meters under the sea, I handed my buddy my mouth piece. She took two or three deep breaths and handed it back. Then she nodded gratefully. We began to ascend, her hand on shoulder, my hand on hers, sharing my air. I noticed her tilting her mask to let out the air inside that was expanding rapidly. I knew that I too should relieve the pressure building up on my face, but I was too busy greedily sucking in my share of breaths.

Finally we broke above the surface of the ocean. I gulped down the fresh air, and pulled hard on my mask to get it down over my chin. It felt like it was glued to my face. Sandra and I treaded water for a couple of seconds before she had caught her breath and gasped her thanks.

"Pleasure," I lied. I treaded water trying to find my bearings and our boat. I spotted it only 500 meters away. Sandra and I waved frantically to the lookout on the deck to signal that we were okay and then I turned onto my back and swam slowly towards the boat trying to stifle the fear that was still surging within me. I stared at the azure, cloudless sky, and wondered if I would ever dive again.

The answer came the next morning when I woke up with totally blood shot eyes. Every tiny blood vessel in my eyes had popped under the high pressure created by the expanding air trapped in my mask. For two weeks I looked like a mad drunk. Hidden behind sunglasses day and night, I reconsidered my career options.

Since I needed a job that guaranteed a plentiful supply of air, and since my love of nature and my desire to share the beauty of G‑d's world burned as strongly as ever, I became an apprentice safari guide for an exclusive touring company. I had grown up in Kenya and toured parts of the country extensively, and was thrilled with the opportunity to show others untamed nature.

That was how I found myself driving a Land Cruiser of six tourists from New York through the blackest of nights to a deserted spot in the Great Rift Valley. This valley, the longest valley on earth, extends from Syria in the north to the mouth of the Zambezi River in Mozambique, a distance of some 5,600 kilometers. It stretches between 30 and 100 kilometers wide.

Twenty meters under the surface of the sea is not the ideal place to run out of airWe were somewhere between Lake Naivahsa and Lake Nakuru, following a narrow dirt track picked up by the powerful headlights of the Land Rover. I had taken groups of tourists for night drives to spot game many times in this area and I knew the expansive plains well. Although this was the first time I would be taking a group out for a barbeque at night, I had no qualms of fear for following my lead was a second Land Rover with an experienced tour guide, two chefs and two waiters. My tourists were prepared for the gourmet barbeque of a lifetime. I was prepared to inspire them by showing them wildlife at its nighttime best.

But the plain was eerily quiet that night. An occasional dikdik buck ran gracefully through the stream of my headlights, its glassy eyes reflecting a mixture of confusion and fear. A night owl dove by, its flight momentarily captured in the beams of the headlights. Every other creature seemed to be in hiding.

Finally we stopped near a bunch of acacia thorn trees that would provide us with some protection from the chilly winds that sweep across the plains. Within fifteen minutes a fire was burning and the tourists sat comfortably in collapsible canvas chairs nursing long stemmed wine glasses and gazing into the flames of the fire.

In tribute to the silence of the night, most of the talking petered out. I noticed a man and his wife star gazing and took the chance to point out the strip of the Milky Way that, away from all artificial lighting, was clearly visible: a wisp of an opaque scarf, it lay lazily against a sky scattered with thousands of tiny stars, crushed glass of the universe. Nearby the chefs started a second fire to roast the meat and the waiters set up tables replete with linen table cloths and china. I moved to the edge of our campsite to watch the moon rise alone. A tiny crescent nudged its way into the inky sky. Soon the smell of roasting meat began to waft towards me. The winds of the plain took the smell and tossed it high into the night, carrying it far away into the blackness.

Outside the warm circle of firelight all was black. I crinkled my eyes, trying in vain to focus on something, anything, in the blackness. It was endless. Briefly, I wondered if this was what eternity looked like. Then my eyes picked up two tiny circles of light lying close to the ground. Emerald green, the lights stood motionless. Two more lights appeared next to the first two. Another two, slightly farther to the left.

Then I heard the distinctive high pitched wailing of hyenas.

Attracted by the smell of the roasting meat, these scavengers were moving in rapidly. The distant howling built up swiftly, closing in: suddenly I was surrounded by a sphere of wailing. I raced back into the safety of the light of the fire. The hyenas fell silent and stopped short just out of the range of the firelight. I could make out their hunched forms, lying close to the ground.

Suddenly everyone else noticed the glassy green eyes reflecting the firelight. Two of the women jumped up and ran towards the cars. The third stood still, her eyes, like those of the buck we had spotted earlier in the night, full of confusion and fear. The men, in a show of bravado, followed the lead of the cooks and just moved closer to the fire.

Then I heard the distinctive high pitched wailing of hyenas...The distant howling built up swiftly, closing in"Switch the headlights on," the safari guide shouted at me, running to the second Land Rover. I quickly complied and lingered in the car, watching to make sure that none of the hunched shadows would move closer. I knew that the fire would keep the animals at bay, but that did not lessen my fear. Ten minutes later, I saw a few of the shadows slinking further into the darkness. Above the crackling of the fires that had been generously fueled up, I heard the tourists chatting excitedly about the hyenas that had come so close. I remained ensconced in the Land Rover.

That was the last night game drive I ever did. Soon I was out of a job, because no tour company would employ a safari guide who refused to work at night. So my dreams of sharing the beauty of the world were put on hold.

Then I became a mother.

Just when I though that any chance for an exciting career was over, I found a way to share my love nature and G‑d's world. This setting suits my abilities perfectly: an ample supply of air, no night predators to hunt me, and an attentive audience. Now I share the wonders of creation with the wonders of creation that G‑d put in my charge.

I rave about the azure sky and the light feather clouds. I point out the hoof prints left by deer in the hills around the Israeli town in which we live. And this career comes with a bonus: as much as I inspire, I am inspired. It is my children who surprise me by showing me a tiny purple flower hiding in the damp crevice of a rock, or insist on bringing home the rainbow caterpillar they found on a hike. They show me new ways of seeing the familiar and introduce me to things I have never seen.

Not only have I found a career that inspires people with a love of creation, but I have been blessed to find an endless source from which to grow.