“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley
|Lake Michigan, via USDA.org|
It starts and ends innocently. It’s the journey that entangles you.
You can feel the grasp of the undercurrent of your life as it swirls around your ankles. You should have never gone near the water.
In the sand you were safe, as the loose layer of dusty particles swept over the tops of your feet, threatening to bury them and hold you there as a hostage if you didn’t wiggle your toes now and then.
But you grew tired of toe wiggling and ventured further until you found yourself just at the water’s edge, where the waves with the farthest reach greeted your toenails coolly. You longed for the icy kiss of the tide the moment it retreated from you. And it drew you in deeper.
Soon the water held your feet, your eyes darting across the horizon. You had to squint to see the silhouetted buildings across the water that filled you with helplessness. You knew that you would never make it to them if you started to swim.
The swirling ankle water moved faster, encircling you in an eight-inch whirlpool that threatened to topple you and take you away. You really should have never gone near the water.
You stand in solitude as you realize your few footsteps in the water’s direction are the catalyst that may sweep you out and away forever.
You close your eyes and want to imagine that you are somewhere else. That you are someone else – anyone other than this bored beach goer turned lunatic. But you can only be you – here, right now.
So you exhale your last breath in this moment and feel the ankle water swell and sweep your legs out from underneath you.
I’m drowning. I feel like I’m drowning. I must be drowning.
And a distant voice calls out “It’s a good thing you know how to swim.”
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