In Sydney, something changed. I embraced the uncertainty of the sea, following my children into a culture of volunteer lifesaving.
SYDNEY, Australia — The spring sun might have been warm, but the Pacific Ocean off the edge of Sydney felt like an ice tray. I put my head down and tried to breathe in a steady rhythm as I swam faster than usual to warm up, keeping an eye on a couple of swimmers heading in my direction along the rocky coast.
When the distance between us shortened, both of them stopped and seemed to be pointing. I picked up my head.
“Bull ray,” said one of them, a woman about my age wearing an orange swim cap. I peaked underwater. It was midtide, the water was clear, but all I could see were rocks and sand about 10 feet below.