Have you ever ridden a water craft that required paddling on your part to move? Have you ever lost your paddle? Maybe dropped it just out of arms reach on a calm and quiet lake? Out by yourself with no one in sight? It's not fear or anxiety that ensues. I could easily slip into the water and retrieve my paddle. Instead I kneel down. Sit on my knees. Look at the paddle. Study the movement of it and the water. It's coming back to me. But in that moment I feel in control of nothing. That space between commanding my ship and being woefully unmoored without a paddle. And, oh yes, I stop and look around at the verdant beauty of the lake. But I sigh while trying so hard to disguise it as a contented deep breath. I know it's a sigh. The lake knows its a sigh.
That's what it feels like when my girls go back to school at the end of summer. One started 9th grade last week. The other started 6th today.