The water seemed calmer when I was in the boat. Dutifully wearing my life vest, I am bobbing in Lake Erie. My friend Sandy is about ten to fifteen feet away. The boat is close to her. Sandy is holding a rope tied to her boat. The boat is tied to nothing. The sails are down, the engine off. No anchor. No one aboard. The waves push me in one direction, the boat in another. “Don’t drift too far”, I hear her say.

This could be the beginning of a larger treatise about being adrift. This could all be a metaphor for the times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed and unable to control our environment. This could even be a parable about personal growth through conquering one’s fears. But it is not.

I am calmer than the water. I trust my life preserver, my friend, and my ability to swim to the boat. I flip on to my back and paddle, with a little effort, back to Sandy and her rope.