I subscribe to this blog-ish site: A.Word.A.Day.
Last month, one of the words was shoal
PRONUNCIATION: (shol, rhymes with hole)
1. A shallow area in a body of water.
2. A sandbank or sandbar in the bed of a body of water, constituting a navigation hazard.
ETYMOLOGY:From Middle English shold, from Old English sceald (shallow). The homonym shoal, referring to a school of fish or a crowd, has a different origin, probably from Dutch schole (band or troop).
USAGE: "[Thomas] Jefferson says, 'I've found the art of living is avoiding the shoals and the rocks. But the truth of the matter is none of us can avoid the shoals and the rocks.'"
--Joe Kovac Jr.; This I Know: Max Cleland; Macon Telegraph (Georgia); Sep 14, 2008.
ShoalYasawa Islands, Fiji
If you think about it, a shoal could be a good thing or a bad thing.
If you've been swimming in deep water for awhile, and you're tired and about to go under, a shoal would be a welcomed place to rest.
If you're looking for depth and space to swim quickly, a shoal would be preventative in your locomotion. (Like those words, Pop?) If you're in a boat trying to reach shore, a shoal could run you aground.
I reached a shoal last week. At first, it felt scary and dangerous and like I couldn't find a firm place to stand. When I stopped struggling with it, however, I found clarity and a corrected direction for my path.
What about you? Have you come across any shoals in your life these past few weeks? Was it a welcome respite or a tricky navigation spot?