I was at the beach recently. A storm was coming in. The clouds were dark, the waves wild, the wind blowing.
It was exhilarating.
I found a sheltered spot, wrapped my coat tightly around me, my hair blowing wildly in all directions, the taste of salt sharp on my lips, and watched.
I watched the water, and the clouds, but mostly the seagulls.
They were an inspiration.
One tried to take off. He flew low to the beach, then was beaten by the wind and landed again, quite ungainly. He waited a few minutes more, then tried to take off again, flying low… low… mere inches from the beach…until he got the wind beneath his wings and soared.
Another hung almost static in the air, beating her wings but also getting nowhere. She dipped down, searching for another wind, but finding none, landed on the water’s edge. As she did so, a wave came in and knocked her off balance. She staggered a little, then straightened herself and plodded onto the beach. She waited a while, then like the other gull, took off again, staying low to the beach until she too caught the wind beneath her wings and rose into the air.
They weren’t the only two struggling. All the gulls were fighting the wind… but they kept on going.
And it seemed to me the perfect metaphor for what it’s like going through those first weeks…months… years after a divorce.
Get forced down to earth again? Take a breather. Rest. Don’t force yourself back up immediately. Find your balance, then take off. Stay low at first. Don’t push it. Take your time till you feel more confident, then spread those wings. Catch the wind. Yes it might shove you around, but land again – even in an ungainly fashion – if you have to and start over again.
But keep going.
The storm will pass.