I hadn't expected it to feel like this. Many times I've floated out into the water at daybreak just like today. So why was today different?
Well, today is different because I'm leaving more behind. So many times in the past I've set sail out into this open water, looking forward with so much longing for the sea, looking forward to the many adventures that could await out over that water.
Today I look back. I feel the shore pulling at my heart more than before. I look within myself for the answers.
For so long I've loved the sea. I've gone out with no other desire in my heart, no other place I would rather be. I look toward the watery horizon and the rising sun. The air is crisp and touches my face, as it has so many times before. It is beautiful. Yet it has changed somehow and I am drawn back.
The birth of my daughter changed many things. It made me a father. It made my wife a mother. But that is just what happened on the surface. That is just what other people can see.
My friend comes up behind me and rests his hand on my shoulder with a smile. "Excited to get back out on the water again?" He said. I could hear the old excitement in his voice. The one we used to share.
I gave him a small smile, but I knew that after this last time on the water together, I was ready to do what my wife had suggested: stay ashore and watch my daughter grow up.