A week today, our daughter begins at Oxford University. And people keep asking me how I feel about this.
Well, I feel proud of her, of how far she has already come. And I feel God’s pleasure, as a parent; for God gave her wings, and we have not fashioned a gold chain to keep her from flying. But I don’t think that is what the question is getting at. I think people are asking, how does her leaving home affect me?
And I do not know, yet.
My primal distrust of the sea, and dyspraxic issues with balance, mean that surfing will only ever serve me as a metaphor, and not recreation. But I find myself far out in the bay, bobbing on my board, waiting, waiting, for the wave. I have no idea how far it will carry me, before unceremoniously dumping me into its disorienting underbelly. But, for now, I wait, far removed from the well-meaning questioners on the shore.
Slowing my breathing, sharpening my senses.
In liminal space.
And on the horizon, the curl of a wave rises towards me.