The Coast Is Clear

Today I hear someone announce that “the coast is clear” when ushering students into the classroom. I can’t remember the last time I used the expression. I was mostly like a child: Maybe I whispered it during a game of Man Hunt or Kick-the-Can or Hide & Seek. Maybe I cried it out to friends as we tried to cross a highway on our bikes. Maybe I heard it on a walkie-talkie.

It’s such a sneaky kind of phrase. It’s urgent and hopeful. Run now! The coast is clear! Do it now!

I thought of risk and danger, of boats coming ashore in hostile territory, and of arriving somewhere clear of enemies.

The coast is clear now, but danger lurks. Take caution, but move now. I think of clear coasts in life and that thrill of racing ahead and knowing you’ll make.


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