My daughter and I paddle identical red kayaks across the lake. Pulling hard, we slip easily through the water. Far from either shore it hits me that my daughter is a young woman, and suddenly everything is a metaphor for how short a time we are granted on earth: the red boats on the blue-black water, the russet and gold of late summer’s sunburnt grasses, the empty blue sky. We stop and listen to the stillness. I say, “It’s Sunday, and here we are in the church of the out-of-doors.” Then I wish I’d had the sense to stay quiet. That’s the trick in life — learning to leave well enough alone. Our boats drift north to where the chirring of grasshoppers reaches us from the rocky hills. A clap of thunder beyond those hills. How well sound travels over water. I want to say just the right thing, something stronger and truer than a lame I love you. I want my daughter to know that, through her, I live a life that was closed to me before. I paddle up beside her, lean out from the boat, and touch her hand. I start to speak, then stop.