Monday, February 8, 2021

Ankle Deep Courage

Thanks to a retirement gift from a generous school parent, I had the great pleasure of spending some quality time with my youngest daughter Talia. Just the two of us, a rare happening. We hiked, cooked, put together a 500-piece puzzle, played Boggle, sat under the stars in a hot tub, planned her classes and discussed my next book project. On our last morning, we went down to the beach for each of us to write a little something and then share back with the other. And here was my piece:


Walking with my daughter—her 36, me 69—on a California beach

in February.  Blue sky, sun-warmed air, makes a dip

in the ocean seem tantalizing. We challenge each other

to jump in, throw down the childhood gauntlet of 

“I dare you! I double dare you!”


In my younger days, I would have to prove my bravado. 

But now?


The world has thrown out its fair measure of double-dog-dares and 

sometimes foolishly, sometimes wisely,

I have responded. Plunged

into the icy waters of some task far beyond

my comfort, far beyond my capability. Came out

shivering, but proud, skin tingling, spirit refreshed. 


So here I am again at the water’s edge,

Pants rolled up, the frigid wintry water

tickling my toes. A wave breaks 

and it rises to my ankles.


It is enough.


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