Lake Tahoe was unusually calm that morning, its waters smooth and placid, but still I felt nervous. I was sitting at the helm of a 24-foot bowrider, one sweaty hand gripping the wheel and the other clutching the throttle. I’d never driven a motorboat before. Push too hard on the lever, I quickly discovered, and the craft would lurch forward, giving my four hapless passengers a kidney-jarring ride.
Eventually the boat settled down, and so did my nerves. As we traversed the lake at a decent clip, I realized that, for the first time since losing my husband, I was actually having fun. On the water, I couldn’t dwell on the past or fret about the future. I couldn’t worry about what I’d do with the rest of my life, now that I was a retired widow and no longer anchored by a job or a spouse. There were no stoplights, no signs telling me where to go. There was only the thin line of the limitless horizon separating a big blue body of water and empty sky. So I pushed a little harder on the throttle, and I aimed for it.
far from shore
I cut the motor
my mind drifts