I’m a different person than I was 10 days ago, a better person.

I swam, biked and ran a race for a girl named Abigail. It changed my life.

Spirit directed, I listen.

10 days ago,  5am, I was driving to the lake to run when this thought catapulted my brain–I should do my race for Noah. But then, the thought came–run for someone still in battle. Bloody, beaten, barely breathing, Abigail, run for her.

Called to seek and save we are.

I wrote her name on my leg, Abigail.

I carried her through the swim, the tide coming in, pulling me out. Inhaling water, choking, kicked in the side by another, I forged forward. Remembering my summer job as lifeguard at 19, I finally swam to save another, an addict from the waves of addiction. The orange buoys of the finish line came into my view. Envisioning the momma on shore, the dad alongside, the sister, brother, her to them, my body swam. Wanting to hug her, hold her, experience laughter from her lips, they yearn for Christmas without fear of waking to her empty bed. I don’t ask if this is true, I know it is. So, I swam.

Then yesterday, spirit hit again. Albatross. I googled the bird.

What winged creature can withstand Mother Ocean’s fury?  Calm waves turned sixty miles-an-hour wind, gentle ocean becomes nature’s devil. Water shards shoot, cutting veins of life, every creature needing oxygen is wiped off the globe.

One remains. Albatross.

Known to fly 10,000 miles to bring breakfast to her chick, the Albatross can live upwards of fifty years, having flown 3.7 million miles in her lifetime. Sometimes, not landing foot for months, years, the bird remains on the water, the wind, it’s only refuge–within. Her wing span up to 11 feet, she can glide hundreds of miles without flapping, carried by spirit. Living in environments unimaginable, she survives a hellacious existence. Made to endure, Albatross lives.





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Shelley Steinley

My mission is to give love, hope and beauty to the world in my art and writing. I believe that anyone can achieve their dreams and that all things are possible. I create art to inspire and write books to build confidence and hope. Creating laughter, fun and happiness on a level higher than most people thought possible, I want others to experience true joy in living.

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