The albatross can be a symbol of a burden or weight, but it was also the sign of inspiration and guidance to seafarers. In a work by C.S. Lewis, he writes of an albatross that appears and offers hope and guidance to a ship lost in a dark sea. Just when it looked like all was lost...
Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.
In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been. They blinked their eyes and looked about them. The brightness of the ship herself astonished them: they had half expected to find that the darkness would cling to the white and the green and the gold in the form of some grime or scum.
~C. S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 12
Depression and anxiety often feels like being lost in a fog so dark that you'll never find your way out. The albatross is a reminder that there is a way out, the darkness is not eternal. Even in the thick of the darkest dark, we can remember the words, “Courage, Dear Heart,” and not give up, to keep fighting, and sometime enter the warm, blue world again.