Journey of 1000 Miles

Tempting the Ocean

In June, I was on vacation with my family. There is one scene I recall and thought I’d share. Sitting on the beach outside our resort with my wife, the sun was setting and the sky was ablaze with shades of the blue east to the crimson west. My daughter was on the edge of the shore racing against the waves. Tempting them by running out on the low pull and trying to outrun the salty ocean breaks back to the crest of the sand hill as they push up just far enough to send fits of nervous laughter into the air.

Likewise, I noticed a seagull in the air doing its own version of tempting the ocean. Soaring high into the sea breeze then swooping down to just a foot above the surface and the feathers of its wings scraping the water for less than a second before arching back into the sky. I couldn’t help but notice the similarity.

It wasn’t until yesterday, my mind started connecting the moments to what was happening currently. My daughter had her Freshman orientation and that scene from the Mexican beach came back to me. The joyful laughter of outrunning the ocean mixed with the tempting fate of trying to let the waves engulf her. If life is the ocean, she is indeed starting to tempt breaching the shore and diving in.

My years with her staying under my roof, under my guidance and protection are starting to fade like the light at sunset. The harsh days of adjusting to popularity and groups of new friends. The path of finding more of herself and who she is approaches each day and I feel like in the next four years, the time will breeze by. I hope I have been enough of a father to teach her how to stay true to herself when it matters and protect herself when it doesn’t.

There is a sting when I look at her growing more beautiful each day, more of an adult every day. Her mistakes make me thankful somewhere inside because it means she is still needing help, needing me. I smile beneath the pain, knowing she’ll be just fine. Her mistakes without me will help teach her how to be strong and how to overcome, I just want to make sure she’s ready for those waves when they pull her out. I’m happy with her staying on the beach for as long as I can.

Think back to moments in your childhood, adulthood. How many moments have you been on the beach, preparing to run for the ocean?



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Feed Your Magic

Magic surrounds children. They live it, drink it and breathe it in constantly. Their spirit reflects the magic they surround themselves in, some rambunctious while others dream and create. As children grow up, the magic surrounding them gets harder to retain. We feed them “truths” of the real world and how it’s not always a trustworthy and splendid place. We have them grow up and wipe away their tears so as adults we don’t have to continually foster the magic that keeps them safe and happy and blissful.

One day, their magic is replaced. In its stead, there are video games, fashion-savvy outfits, popularity and a realization that they are no longer kids. They no longer have time for childish things like make believe and pretend. How can we get it back for them? Can we save their magic?

As authors, we’re one of the last lines of defense for keeping magic in this world. We  transport our readers silently and conveniently to other worlds. We introduce them to characters they would never normally encounter. We feed the magic still clinging to life around them.

Today, my little girl will exercise her own version of magic. She will dance on stage and transport the audience to a place outside of themselves. Today she will feed magic to the child still within me. In return, I will always make certain the magic within her never starves.

Do the same for the child in your life.