Greetings, Pilots and Passengers.

Life is not an easy journey: It’s not smooth sailing, there cannot be calm blue waves all the time. Sometimes we enter a storm, a roaring tempest that crashes through the blue sky and forms thunderous clouds that boom overheard, winds that howl and screech, with the pouring rain forming an endless smoky mist that blinds us. The future can seem bleak when these storms enter our atmosphere, but it is important to learn that they will soon pass, as after every storm the sun must shine.

Although, we can’t always rely on nature and the universe to guide us through the storm: We are ultimately in control of our own paths, we are the captain of our ship and must adjust our own sails, hold tight onto the wheel to fight our way past the thrashing waves. That is a lesson I have learned recently, that whilst I can ask others and the universe for help, I am the only person who can make a difference to myself and my situation – no one else.

This thought today did not magic its way into my mind out of thin air; I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker and recently read a passage about a ship and its deceased crew making its way through a storm. The captain had heroically tied himself to the wheel of the ship with rosemary beads to ensure the vessel made it to dry land, and that if he was to die, a note in his pocket would explain the strange occurrences that led to the gradual disappearance of his crew (spoilers, it was Dracula). It was the combination of the description of the storm and how it suddenly erupted and the dedication of the captain that started the cogs whirring in my brain:

“Then without warning the tempest broke. With a rapidity, which, at the time, seemed incredible, and even afterwards is impossible to realise, the whole aspect of nature at once became convulsed.”

Bram Stoker, Dracula. Page 74.

Yet following the ship’s arrival, the storm quickly subsided and the sun began to creep through the dark clouds.

Whilst the book is trying to foreshadow Dracula’s arrival using the unrelenting storm (a cheeky bit of pathetic fallacy) that held Whitby harbour hostage, I think the stormy journey that the Russian vessel made can reflect the challenges we face in our own lives. Only we can fight against the waves and figure out what is best for us, and we cannot influence or change the paths of others: We can only provide a helping hand and inspire them to take charge of their ship.

In uncertain times like these where the world seems so dark and filled with division, lies and fear, we must tell our own truths and work on bettering ourselves to make the world a brighter place. When a storm surges and the waves begin to lash against the hull, we must straighten our captain’s hat and get to work to guide ourselves through the unforgiving blast. Just because you may be more aware than others or have spotted the storm over the horizon, doesn’t mean you must warn others and turn their wheel, forcibly adjust their sails on their behalf. That’s not how life works.

We are on this Earth to learn and experience challenges that have been set for us so that we can grow mentally, physically and spiritually. My challenges will be completely different to yours because if we all worked through the same obstacles, we would all be the same: Like cut-outs from the same template, simply copied and pasted. One thing we should share, however, is the love and light we have for one another and being kind, thoughtful, and understanding. When we do these simple things, the world will be a much brighter place and we will be united, strong enough to stand against division and fight against the darker forces that welcome unrelenting storms.

Have a blessed day and keep going.

Captain Emily, signing off.