Each new moon I ask my guides for a story to help me navigate the month ahead. Often it’s an attitude that’s called for, a positioning of awareness within the larger context, as is the case with this one:
Small sailboats are out in the bay on a bright summer’s day. The breeze takes them skimming about, criss-crossing each other’s wakes.
Then the wind drops and completely disappears.
One skipper is fuming with frustration. He had wanted so much to sail. This isn’t sailing! He’s not going anywhere. He keeps glancing up at the canvas, the sky, resenting what he considers to be a wasted afternoon.
Another skipper is privately glad the sails have gone slack. It’s more relaxing this way. He leans back, tips his cap brim over his face, and closes his eyes. This is why he bought the boat—to be out on the water. Here he is! Away from it all! Noone to bother him here, and nothing to do. Heaven!
The sailors in a third boat are leaning over the side. Their curiosity has been taken by what’s in the water around them. They point at glimpses of fish, a drifting jellyfish, a clump of seaweed. The swell has movement and shows the currents passing underneath. And the crew looks back at the mainland—not far, but unreachable without wind—and has time to take in the contours from this perspective, to see it all in a fresh light. It’s fascinating!
The one in charge of the fourth boat is busy planning out what he will do if the breeze does not pick up before dark. His brow is furrowed as he runs through the possibilities, wondering who would be the best person to call for assistance should he need a rescue. In the meantime he will work hard trying to maneuver into even the merest sigh of air brushing the water.
All around is the glorious summer light, the white hulls gleaming against the heavenly blue of a storybook sea. It should be perfect, but they’ve been dropped, cut out of engaging in the way the sailors had planned, the way their vessels were designed to do—a sailboat is built to catch wind, if there is wind; meanwhile, it floats while it’s waiting to fly.
So, when it’s not smooth sailing, what options are available?
While no one can summon the breeze, each is responsible for their level of skill, their willingness to participate in the environment, their trust. In alert attentiveness there’s freedom and fun.