When we were kids, going to the beach was our #1 fun thing to do. I grew up near Lake Michigan, a clean, fresh water monster-of-a-lake so big we couldn’t see across it. Growing up, we walked to the beach toting inner tubes (the big black kind from giant truck tires), forever hoping for a wavy day. Because Lake Michigan is known as the squall lake, good waves could arrive any time. But the best waves came after wild storms the night before. On those mornings, we ate Cheerios in our swimming suits and couldn’t finish fast enough. The noise of crashing waves in the distance joined our morning conversation as we planned our lake adventures for that day.

What is it about a crashing wave that captivates us? Churning white water was exactly the right challenge for a crowd of confident kids. “Dive right into it!” was the charge, as we tried to keep our balance while being torn limb from limb in the powerful surf. Only occasionally could we tip-toe-touch the sandy bottom. You’d think our greatest fear would have been an undertow with the power to sweep us “out deep.” Instead we worried about getting water up our noses. Water forced up a nose produces wild stinging along with confusion, coughing and temporary blindness.

Sometimes the waves of our lives buoy us up and take us for a happy ride. At other times they threaten to overwhelm us. But most of life’s circumstantial waves are like water up the nose. They sting. They take us by surprise. They can be agonizing. And worst of all, they make us wonder if we can avoid going under again before we’ve regained control.

So how do we get a fresh breath to cope with the next wave and seal ourselves off from yet another white water experience? And what do we do if it comes anyway? The web site www.GettingThroughThis.com addresses the struggle of life’s water up the nose. May it encourage you as you struggle to catch a fresh breath during the rip-tide moments of your life. My hope is that each post will give you a tip-toe-touch on the solid ground beneath your feet.

Margaret Nyman