Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lordyour God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NESV)
I was talking with a friend about the writing we did in High School. His sister recently sent him a bag of his High School belongings she found in their family’s attic. The bag contained an old journal that he kept in his senior year English class. While he noted that most of the writing was lame, “what do you expect from an eighteen year old forced to write five pages a week?”, he enjoyed reading through his thoughts on current events, movie reviews and life as he knew it before moving on to the bigger and better world of a college campus. It reminded me of a similar notebook I have and some stories that I wrote in Creative Writing class my own senior year. When the weather gets cooler, I will search the attic for them. I remember in particular one story I wrote based upon information I read in a novel by one of my then favorite writers, Mary Stewart. The heroine lived in Greece and Stewart described a bird called a Kestrel which often flies against the wind. I wrote my own short story about a girl who lived in, where else but Greece?, who finds encouragement in difficult circumstances by observing the Kestrels who battled the wind with their strong wings. Never giving up, they flew, sometimes not going at all forward, but never allowing themselves to be pushed backwards. I called it “Hovering into the Wind.” I remember my English teacher was very impressed not only with my writing but my knowledge of birds. I didn’t dare tell her all I knew about Kestrels I learned in a novel. It has been almost forty years since I graduated from High School, but I still remember that story. And the image of the Kestrels and their determination not to be blown off course. I’ve been a little discouraged lately. Though I exercise two days a week and go to physical therapy two days a week, I am often stiff and achy. I can’t put my shoes on without a lot of effort, if I don’t hold on to something, I feel like I am going to fall over and household chores are difficult. I’ve been wondering why I take the time to stay physically fit when it feels like I am getting nowhere. Then, I remembered the Kestrel. And I realized that the time and effort it takes is worth it because it is keeping me from getting worse. I may not be getting better, but at least I am no worse. But, as a bonus today, my physical therapist did an evaluation for a doctor’s report and compared my test results with those she did on my first day there six weeks ago. My balance and strength are greatly improved and even I could feel it and notice the difference. So, I am not just hovering into the wind, I am making some progress though I still don’t know much about birds!