Some hundreds of storks left their African home, banded together for the long journey north to summer breeding grounds. But a severe storm arose with forceful winds and blew them far out to sea. Already an arduous journey, this now had the signs of catastrophe. If a stork’s wing so much as touches the water, they will spin in and drown. The tired flock fell lower and lower toward an unhappy ending. But just as their strength was almost depleted, an island appeared on the horizon. Land absorbs sunlight and returns the heated air upward as a thermal. Flapping with all their might, they reached the uplifting air, gained altitude on extended wings, and spied the next island in a chain stretching north toward their destination, Europe. Island-hopping, they eventually reached Istanbul and sanctuary, resting from the journey’s rigors to then move on to their purposeful activities.
Life can be like the stork’s journey. Our days may pass relatively unruffled but then accumulated difficulties may produce the perfect personal or professional storm. How we weather such periodic storms (and smaller disturbances) in resilient fashion will depend on how many islands of uplift we’ve constructed in life. These saving strength points come in the form of friendships that buoy us, work lives that inspire us, hobbies that fulfill us, practices that restore us, attitudes that move us forward with positive possibility. The storms of life are unavoidable. So enlivening island-building is key not only to merely surviving but to living a life of satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfillment.
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