Seeing a light at the end…

by Elouise

At the Back of the North Wind stairs

…of this tunnel. Or perhaps I’m becoming accustomed to waiting and then waiting some more?

I had a good conversation with my primary care doctor late this afternoon. She reviewed all reports from two specialists I’ve seen in the last six weeks, and talked with me about my options.

Bottom line: I have the beginning of a plan that’s sane not just for now, but for the future. I’ve never liked taking medication, except for bacterial infections. And I’ve never liked the thought of having to use a medical device to help me through the days and nights.

On the other hand, if this happens to others, why not to me? I’m not minimizing what it means for me personally. I’m just saying I’m in good company, and grateful for remedies and access to them.

So I’m making a phone call tomorrow morning to get this ball rolling. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s all about my heart. The little atrial flutter that didn’t stay little. Or simple. Or easy to diagnose.

Now that I know what it is, I’m eager to move along. I’m also expecting to have tons of energy when this is all over. D is getting scared he won’t be able to keep up with me. I’m counting on it!

This week I began reading yet again (2nd time through) one of George MacDonald’s phantasy tales for children. It’s called At the Back of the North Wind. One passage in particular struck a chord with me today.

North Wind (female!) has asked Diamond to “follow” her, to go with her. Where? That isn’t known yet. Eventually Diamond accepts her invitation. As he puts it, “Well, I will go with you because you are beautiful and good, too.”

She responds: “Ah, but there’s another thing, Diamond:–What if I should look ugly without being bad—look ugly myself because I am making ugly things beautiful?—What then?”

Diamond doesn’t understand, and asks North Wind to explain herself.

She explains,

‘Well, I will tell you. If you see me with my face all black, don’t be frightened. If you see me flapping wings like a bat’s, as big as the whole sky, don’t be frightened. If you hear me raging ten times worse than Mrs. Bill, the blacksmith’s wife—even if you see me looking in at people’s windows like Mrs. Eve Dropper, the gardener’s wife—you must believe that I am doing my work. Nay, Diamond, if I change into a serpent or a tiger, you must not let go your hold of me, for my hand will never change in yours if you keep a good hold. If you keep a good hold, you will know who I am all the time, even when you look at me and can’t see me the least like the North Wind. I may look something very awful. Do you understand?’

‘Quite well,’ said little Diamond.

‘Come along, then,’ said North Wind, and disappeared behind the mountain of hay.

Diamond crept out of bed and followed her.

George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind, pp. 18-19

Though I’m aware of my age these days, I often feel more like a child than an adult. I’m also aware of the increased value of each day, though they don’t all look lovely or as I would like.

I want to keep “a good hold” on North Wind’s hand in my journey with Her wherever it leads, and by whatever means are necessary. Not because my grip is strong, but because North Wind’s grip is stronger.

Thanks for listening.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 February 2016
Image from

Quotes from At the Back of the North Wind, with illustrations by Arthur Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1871, London