The weeks are moving faster these days. A cool summer left me space for a feverish pace of work and productivity and as I rushed headlong through the lazy days, much of the world slowed, waiting to dash headlong into fall. I’m about to run out of fuel and everyone else is gearing up for the start of the semester’s race. Above the noise of revving engines, I remind myself that I want this and I love this and I am blessed to have the gift of hard work that I enjoy. And new things come and I worry aloud to friends who assure me I CAN do this, but that doesn’t quiet the voices in my head. And one night when nerves are frazzled from new challenges and quaking at fear of the unknown tomorrow, when too much work stands before me and sleep and my brain just wants some rest, I just keep yelling at myself with caffeine, with adrenaline, with pep talks. I cry out to a God who is so good to give me just what I wanted but who somehow allows this perfectionist to be imperfect enough to drive herself crazy. My heart cries loudly for mercy, for help, for comfort in this personal academic crisis. And then the cry weakens, softens perhaps, to a whisper: “I miss you.” In all of my exuberant joy and energy and accomplishment and blessing, I miss the whisper. My childlike whisper of vulnerability and trust. His Fatherly whisper of love and strength and compassion. And though the symphony, the seashore, the songs of praise are both loud and good, there is nothing that can replace the still, small whisper.