By Farai Chideya
Water has always shaped my memories: I can remember the times my sister would bring a plastic bucket down to the stream and catch crawfish. (We even had one as a pet for a while.) Recently we decided to paddle out on an ocean kayak tour, a flotilla of amateurs, struggling to stay on course. The swells grew high, and we both started to feel nervous. Then a humpback whale whooshed out of the water a hundred yards from us, sent spray flying, and dove back into the deep. Another awestruck paddler asked, "Why do they do that?" Our guide smiled and said, "If you weighed 30 tons and you could levitate out of the water, wouldn't you?" Renowned childen's advocate Marian Wright Edelman titled her recent book The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small. For her, it's a metaphor; but Marian—I know how you feel.

Farai Chideya's debut novel is Kiss the Sky.


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