Thursday, June 2, 2011

Staring Down What's Coming...

Courage is not about being unafraid. It's feeling the fear and doing what's necessary anyway.

I like to think of life like a comet hurdling through space. Some of the ice crystals are safe in the core, just happily existing, blissfully unaware. Then there are the ice crystals at the edge, like me. There's a good chance I could get violently ripped off at any moment and sent spinning into space.

When I was a little kid, we used to go swimming at Jones Beach on Long Island. I'd grown up around Lake Michigan, but an ocean is a completely different story even from the Great Lakes. I quickly learned that if trying to walk normally into the water, the waves would eventually bowl me over once I got to a certain depth. And in really rough waves, this was a problem: the water at the bottom is often moving out while the wave is going in. I'd get knocked backwards from the top and have my feet swept under me from behind, and end up horizontal underwater. But what I eventually learned is that if turned my body to the side, and pushed my shoulder up and into the wave,  leaping up as I did so, I'd cut through the wave like a knife.

I can have two attitudes towards the violent forces that are whipping my life around. I can be bowled over, screaming and flapping in the wind. Or I can brace myself and try and plow into this head on. It's exhausting, so sometimes I do still get bowled over. That's okay. I can't battle all the time. But when I get the strength again, I pick myself up, lean into the wind and and scream YEEHAW!!

I mean... is there any other way to ride a comet? ;^)

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