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Let me write of the wind and the waves. Of traversing the Whale Road–the sea. Or at least, my home bit of the sea: Puget Sound.

I watched the currents. I felt the strength in my arms. I watched the eddies left behind my kayak as I cut through the waves. I looked to the open waters ahead.

The saltwater: As still as glass, and at other times a wind-tossed froth. I fought.

Seals watched me with their selkie eyes. And I watched them. What was their life like in that inky blackness beneath the waves?

Salmon leaped. An eagle swooped. A cormorant dived. Deep, so deep.

And here I swayed with the waves, with a slip of a boat between me and the sea. Cautiously, I traversed open waters between the islands and shores, feeling the movement of the seas beneath me.

Further and further I rowed. A clear and cold November day, almost done. Utter stillness. I soaked it in. Utter peace. This world was mine. I felt alive, so utterly alive.

Night was coming. Sunset crept across the sky, glinted on the water, fell behind the treeline. I reveled in it. Just me and the seabirds out in this trackless expanse of water.

Further in I rowed, my destination in sight. Deeper sunk the night. Harbor lights ahead. One more crossing, and I’d be home.

Rip tides? Currents? Wild water, fighting against me. I fought even harder against it, planning, even as I fought, for the likelihood of being swept away from my destination. I fought for the island. Leaning forward, digging deeply and swiftly into the water, waves sweeping past me. I could do this.

And I did. I rested at the island, one hand gripping a sea-encrusted rock of the sea wall. One hand keeping me from being swept away. Allowing me to rest.

Rest. Then onwards toward the main shore. Harbor lights ahead. Always keep your eyes on the lights.

Guide me in to shore. To safety. To home. Dear lights, guide me into the shore.