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Saltless Ocean


I’ve grown up on the shores of Lake Superior.  For nearly two decades, I’ve never lived more than a mile or two from this glorious body of water.  Summers in high school were spent on the beach and in the water as much as possible.  There’s just something about the rhythm of the waves, the grit of sand in your clothes/hair/bed/food, the gazing across an endless horizon shared with Canada; these things center me. 

This freshwater sea provides countless metaphors for life, as well.  She doesn’t really warm up to “bathwater” status, so entering her embrace requires a certain level of surrender.  Putting one foot in front of the other, consciously moving against what your nerve endings are telling you.  But then you plunge under the surface and you experience that elevated sense of awareness that comes from the rush of it.  You emerge and are reborn.  Fresh.

That sounds like life, right?

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re afraid a lot.  I know I am, at least.  But I’ve found that every time I step into that fear, one foot in front of the other, consciously moving against what my lizard brain is telling me, it feels just like walking into Superior.  I experience that same rush, hyper-awareness, and rebirth into something new.  There’s never been a time where I’ve regretted walking into a fear, just like I’ve never regretted walking into Superior.

Now I get to watch my children make their first forays into the waters of the Third Coast, and into the murky seas of fear and doubt.  My hope is that they (and I) learn to see the cold waters as an invitation into a new, fresh experience.  A gift to be embraced, an opportunity to grow.

Peace and tenacity,