(This post is NOT a commentary about Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In. )
I was watching a hawk soar the other day, off my balcony. It was morning and the sky was blue but calm. Well, it seemed calm to me but I wasn't soaring. The hawk was.
When I was learning to fly gliders, I thought we were towed up, and just glided to earth in 20 minutes after we released the line from a 3000 foot tow by the airplane in front of us. Mostly we were preparing for a landing at about 1000-1200 feet, hopefully touching down where we took off.
Don, my instructor, would show me what to do, and then I'd attempt it. But he was keeping us upwind of the field and was looking all around, while my focus was straight ahead.
As I was watching the hawk, its natural instincts were to lean in, to catch the rising air, sometimes with great effort, sometimes with minimal effort.
In life we have choices. We can either glide down or we can lean in...tilt/turn into the lifting wing, into the rising air. It's never easy to do....not in flying or in life. And then we need to keep adjusting our own flight path to stay in that bumpy (read rough) air.
Sometimes the air is kind, and sometimes it's really rough. And sometimes we just fly through the rough spots, looking for a place to land, especially if we've gotten too low.
But watching that hawk, made me appreciate the rough spots in life...because these will force me to go up higher...rather than just land, and walk away.