Set Your Sails – The Wind Is Blowing!

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails“… – author unknown

For some reason when I came across this quote early this morning, I thought of Mary Poppins.  I’ve always loved the show Mary Poppins, the scenery, the imagination, animation mixed with real life characters and of course the music. 

I have watched in amazement and smiled as my kids were touched by “Feed the Birds” just like I was long ago while watching it.  Amazing how something made years ago can still touch us today, but that is the power of movies.  I too cried at the little old lady feeding the birds on the steps, begging not for herself, but for the birds to eat. 

I guess my other favorite song of that movie is “Chim Chimney Chim Chim Cherrie.”  I love watching Dick Van Dyke play on the roof tops, dancing in the soot, in and around the chimneys.  It’s a magical moment in the film full of fun and laughter. 

Mary Poppins has so many lessons to teach.  She first listens to the children, and addresses their needs while getting to know them, then helps the parents to see themselves as they are and where their time is being spent.  Finally, the scenario comes down to choices, which is what life is all about anyway.  The father winds up having to choose between his job, where he’s not really treated with much respect anyway, and his family.  He chooses to go fly a kite and reunite with his kids, but then the miracle is that the choice he makes affects everyone around him including his co-workers, who also wind up going to fly a kite and learning to have fun.

Okay, so it’s an old film and perhaps the world isn’t so young and innocent as it was back then, but the basic principles are the same.  We should be careful with our time.  Pursuing a career should never be more important than the people in your life.  That career, whatever it may be, will be there when you are gone, either because you were just filling a position or because someone else has taken the idea and run with it, the people in your life will not always be there.  Children grow up, leave, and start their own lives which will greatly limit any time they may have for you and their own family.  It’s so important to love them as much as we can while they are younger.  Parents and siblings will not always be there, time waits for no one, don’t lose the opportunity to show them you love them.

The only other thing I have to say is make sure you take vacation time.  For too many years I have been a company girl, working late, going above and beyond what I was asked to do, and working my way up in different companies.  Sure it will get you promotions and raises if you are lucky, but looking back now, I can honestly tell you that in hindsight, I would have rather taken time off and gone somewhere with my kids instead.  The company – no matter where I’ve worked – would have been fine without me a few days, but the benefit to my kids and myself would have been well worth it.  Don’t make the mistake of putting too many things on the backburner.  After a while those things simply burn up and are gone.

Years ago I started looking at jobs much as I saw Mary Poppins look at them.  When she’d fulfilled her purpose, gone as far as she could go, she would wait for the wind to change then lift her umbrella and be up and gone to the next adventure.    Lord, let me always be open to the changing wind and adjust my sails as needed. Life is a journey and we are all here to help each other along the way.    

Cherry Coley ©

Grief Knocks Again


Grief, you think you have it down, you’ve worked through it, got control of things again and are making some progress and WHAP it throws you to the floor for another whole round of “what if’s” and “should have’s” and “you didn’t” that will take your breath away and leave you sitting in darkness.  Demons whisper and taunt in the darkness they try to drown you in guilt, anger, self-pity and sadness. 

My heart goes out to those who have lost, sometimes the pain is almost too much to handle.  Yet even in the darkness there can be comfort, even in the depths there is hope.  Darkness cannot hold on forever, the sun will rise and the dawn will break, then the darkness has no choice to flee, yes, that is what I know to be true and hold on too. 

Right now it’s just a dark path in the woods and it’s just another part of this journey that continues to mold and make us who we are.  Here too there are lessons to be learned.  Here we are reminded of our humanity and that we have hearts that will break and bleed when wounded.  Here we learn to seek solace, solitude, and most of all, God.  For even in the darkest night, He is there. 

It is in the deepest loss that we realize the value of what we had and what we still have.  Not to say that we don’t appreciate the people in our lives already, but losing someone suddenly brings time into focus to clearly and you realize how valuable the moments we share are.  Time is not an endless resource, don’t take it for granted or waste it.

Tonight, the flame of my candle barely burns, yet I am still here, and still have a purpose so I know that deep down the fire will continue and tomorrow the flame will be a little brighter, a little warmer. 

Cherry Coley (c)