Carried on great winds

A seagull soars over the Atlantic at Dam Neck, Virginia, June 2014

A seagull soars over the Atlantic Ocean at Dam Neck, Virginia, June 2014

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky.”Ojibwe dream song

No matter how often I remind myself that despondency always passes, I have a remarkably hard time being the least bit optimistic when I am feeling low.  I can know and remember that such times have come and gone before, but feeling the reality of that truth is a different matter.  There is something pervasive and suffocating about depression, especially when it follows a great loss or trial that has left us with no energy to rise above our sadness.

Fortunately, it doesn’t depend on us to make it go away.  There are times when we should take action to protect ourselves against depression by seeing a medical professional, to consider medication or counseling.  But often, we can help ourselves survive if we learn to recognize and accept the changing seasons of our moods, and learn from them.

I believe that sorrow has much to teach us, and if we are willing to wait, we will emerge from it wiser and maybe even happier than we were before.  Meanwhile, we can take comfort from knowing that many, many others have defeated despair, and understand how difficult the battle can be.  Know that you are not alone — and ride the great winds until your wings are strong enough to fly again.

One year ago today:

Just the thing


  1. Susan

    Very well said.
    By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever managed to get a good photo of a flying bird. I have tried, but I usually end up with just … clouds and sky. Congrats on the nice shot!

    • Susan, I find it so hard to catch birds in flight. I probaby took 20 duds for every one that came out right. I just got lucky with this one and had plenty of chances due to all the gulls that were out and about that day. I’m happy you like it!

  2. raynard

    Julia I hope you are having a better week than I am.If I dont learn a new way to “retrain the rescue dog I had for a year now I might have to give him up. Trying to be patient and I’m try to be a good steward to him.I got blindsided by a hurtful comment from a family member.. But I’m having ” a Rocky 3 moment’ and ” back to the book. It’s a test and I know “God doesnt grade on a curve.. How’s that song go( I’m playing it in the background” Button up your overcoat”.. lol Be blessed

    • Unfortunately Raynard, it sounds as if we are both having less than stellar days lately. Surely that means we are due for a change in the wind any day now. My heart goes out to you with the rescue dog. I know others who have had hard times with them too, but I am praying for a happy ending for both you and the dog — and no matter what happens, at least you were able to foster him for awhile which might have bought him some time. As for the hurtful family member, most of us can identify. It’s a sad truth that nobody is in a position to do us more emotional harm than our family members, and I’m sure I have been guilty in that respect myself. I haven’t seen Rocky 3 but I loved the first two and I have to assume it’s a good thing to be having a Rocky 3 moment, so maybe you will be off the ropes soon! Hope the week ends on a positive note for everyone.

  3. bobmielke

    Having just passed through a low point in my life I’m always reminded who’s in charge. God takes good care of us as He continues to pick us up and dust us off.

    • Bob, no matter how many times I see that truth played out in life, it is always good to be reminded of it. I appreciate your affirmation that we should “be anxious in nothing.”

  4. Kathy

    Julia, I wish you were my next door neighbor 😏

    • Wow, thank you Kathy! I do too. But at least we can be cyber-neighbors! 🙂 Can I borrow a digital rake? There’s a lot of debris in our tiny yard after last night’s storm.

  5. Wise words Julia. Made me think of last summer. Maybe these soul shaking challenges only strengthen our resolve? I do feel stronger and more assured than before but this comfortable place was not without a cost. Depression can drain you physically and the lack of sleep that generally accompanies it will surely muddy ones ability to think optimistically. I do think good quality sleep goes a long way to climbing back into the sun. It does me anyways. Sounds simple, but it can be elusive when everything seems so wrong. My physician has been a great listener and helped me thru these times. I can remember her saying, “you’ve been here before and this too shall pass”. She was right. Take good care J. Gentle hugs, Love K

    • Thanks K, you are absolutely right about the sleep, and I hope to catch some SERIOUS Z’s this week. If Matt gets a good report from cardio today that will help. Meanwhile I’ll keep riding those winds, keep that mega fan blowing! ❤

  6. The quote and accompaning photo reminds me of a wonderful little book I read many years ago, yet is not easily forgotten.

    “Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.” Richard Bach, “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull”

    Optimism is a choice, and is not hard to muster; when, as you most rightly point out, we consider the reality of truth. For optimism that is not sought in the light of reality and truth is blind, and will not take root; and therefore bear no fruit.

    I can attest – suffering demands patience; and with patience we can endure the time that is necessary to let what troubles us pass.

    Take heart. No one is ever alone.


    • Alan, thanks so much for your encouraging words. Bach’s book was a favorite in my household when I was a young person and I listen to Neil Diamond’s soundtrack for the movie to this day. I appreciate your example and your attitude, as well as your presence here.

  7. Rene

    Thank you Julia. This message would have been great for me a couple of months ago, but I’m sure it will have occasion to be great for me again…I will be ready, knowing that “…I am being carried on great winds across the sky,” in the palm of His hand.

    • You”re welcome, Rene. I’m glad you aren’t currently in need of this message, but if you are in a tough situation anytime soon, maybe you’ll feel some wind beneath those wings! Thanks for being here.

  8. Amy

    It helps to have others to bear us up when the going gets rough. Hope I have been a help to you. Love you. A

    • Oh my Amy, “help” doesn’t begin to cover it!!! I don’t know how I would have survived without you. BTW Matt got a good report from the cardiologists today – they were clearly pleased with how he is doing and we were so happy to have some good news!!

  9. Sheila

    Well, Julia, I’m late with not only my comments but also adding support to the encouragement from others. I’ve had y’all on my mind all day, knowing Matt’s appointment was today. I’m so glad for the good report, a life line I’m sure. I sense that you are weary and heavy hearted. There are so many prayers tonight, trusting in God’s will through all of this! Love, Sheila

    • Thank you so much Sheila, these prayers are carrying me on great winds tonight. We were really in need of some good news and the Lord provided it. Thanks so much for being here with us!! Love to you, Bill, and your fine feathered (or furry) friends!

  10. Sheila

    Personal note from Walter to Juia:
    Juia, speaking of fur….. This Jack guy looks at me and it’s rather scary, being the bird that I am. “She” says everything will be just fine, but she says that about many things. Boykin Spaniel’s are duck hunting dogs and I don’t want him to mistake me for a duck in a cage. I digress! Until later…. TTFN, Walter

    • Oh dear Walter, I never made that connection about a spaniel being a hunting dog! No wonder you are nervous! I hope your house is hanging up high someplace where he wouldn’t be able to get to it! On the bright side, it could be worse…just imagine if Jack was a CAT!!! Wishing you a chirpy weekend! love Juia

  11. Julia, I’m glad to hear about Matt’s good report. May you enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.. Blessings…

    • Thank you Merry, we are all feeling happy about Matt’s progress. It’s nice when guy with such a big heart (literally and figuratively) bounces back from a difficult ordeal. Hope you are enjoying a nice weekend.

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