I'd Like To Report a Drowning . . . My Own!
Actually, my drowning began almost two years ago, when a tsunami-like personal crisis knocked me off my feet, and cast me adrift in a sea of fear, where I've battled waves of insecurity, self-pity, and distrust.
For a long time, I thought the water would recede and leave me where it had found me, safe, and secure on dry land. So, I set my mind, on simply trying to stay afloat.
My father taught me to swim in the water off the coast of New Jersey, where we lived for several years in the late 1960s. My dad had determined that I would be a strong swimmer, so he paddled me out beyond the surf, and commanded that I swim a few yards parallel to the shore before riding the waves back to the beach.
I was a tough kid, and eager to please, so it wasn't long before I was swimming confidently against the waves and the current, waving proudly to my father, as he stood watching from the shore.
For some, a crisis can be a turning point, or a crossroads. Mine wasn't. It was a full-blown catastrophe, the sort that devastates everything in its path, only no disaster declaration was issued. No aid or relief was available. I simply had to suffer through it.
As any surfer will tell you, its impossible to simply stay still in the ocean. The current and the wind will eventually carry you further up or down the coast, and eventually, out to sea. At some point, one must take action.
At times during my drowning, I contemplated giving up. The water wasn't receding. No help was forthcoming and one can only tread water for so long, without suffering exhaustion.
I let the current carry me further out into deeper and colder water. There was comfort in the numbing darkness. If things wouldn't get better, maybe they couldn't get worse. But still, the waves came, along with the occasional storm, pulling me under, prodding me to fight.
It was the laughter of the children I heard on shore, that motivated me to do what was necessary to save myself. I swam. I swam the way my father taught me, through the dark water, against the current, and finally toward the shore.
While no longer in over-my-head, I'm not exactly on dry land either. In the wake of my tsunami, I'm wading in knee-deep water, trying to regain my footing.
I stopped blogging shortly after my drowning began. I tried for a while, but I simply had no words.
I'm not sure what led me to once again put pen to paper. Perhaps it was the email I opened this morning, sent from a dear friend. It read, "With God, all things are possible." Matthew 19:26