New Moon Message, March 13, 2021
Chez Liley Blog, New Moon humans and nature, sharks 0
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 the message for the New Moon on January 13th (scroll down below). In that story, small sailboats were skimming about in the bay on a bright summer’s day. Then the wind dropped and completely disappeared. We visited a few of the boats to see how each crew’s reaction to the same circumstances affected the sense of the situation.
This month’s message opens among those same boats, having been stuck for a long while in the doldrums with no way to reach shore. The people aboard are parched and sunburned, and most of them deeply anxious. The boats are far enough apart to be visible but beyond earshot.
The surface of the sea, lavender in the heat and flat and still, is suddenly sliced up by the delicate wakes of a number of large fins moving purposefully back and forth around the hulls. Earnest prowling, it looks like to the people, and panic erupts. Helpless in their flimsy vessels, they shake with hatred of the apex predator, and sheer terror.
But let’s stay with boat number three of the January story, the one containing the curious passengers who, instead of chafing at their lack of motion, had made the most of the opportunity to observe their surroundings, and to look back at the distant mainland and see it all in a fresh light. At the sight of the sharks, they, too, are gripped with fear, and also awe and fascination. What has brought this number—as many sharks as boats! What are the sharks doing, moving back and forth? The sailors of boat 3 have been watching and waiting for something to happen, and here—something is happening!
Snouts rise and fall, sending spray. An attack? No, it’s plain to see that the sharks are not taking aim; they are not rocking the boats, they are drawing attention.
Close by boat 3, a huge head rises, showing the fearsome teeth, the otherworldly eyes that look over the side at the humans.
Is it possible to see a connection here?
What motivates the shark in this moment? It swims away from the prow and then back, again and again. The young girl onboard has the curious impulse to throw the shark a line. Her parents shout in fright and rush to pull it back, but the shark has already grabbed it, turns and swims away, towing the boat. The parents are frantically hunting for a knife to cut the rope, expecting the shark to suddenly drag them under. But it keeps on going. Distant shouts of alarm from the other boats, unable to assist. The passengers on boat 3 huddle together, gripped by a new and particular awe as they absorb the feeling of their lives held in the balance by a shark.
Suddenly they encounter a breeze on their faces, yanking at the sail. The shark immediately sinks under, leaving the line dangling in the water. The sailors leap to catch the wind and suddenly they are flying towards shore.
Glancing over their shoulders, they see receding in the distance, another boat slowly dragged in the same direction, the people aboard screaming and clutching themselves in terror.
Before they can turn the boat to attempt a rescue, the same sequence of events repeats. Dragged by a shark into the path of the breeze, that little vessel similarly catches the wind and starts skimming towards them, towards the shore. One by one, other sailboats are towed from the doldrums into the wind, and carried home.
The passengers of boat 3 arrive wobbly-legged to land and summon help for the cluster of boats remaining in the flaccid part of the sea, the ones that refuse to accept the help that came their way, in a guise they cannot embrace.
Then they wait to welcome the boat behind them, and the one after that. From each of these shark-saved boats, the passengers step on shore as if haloed in gold, weeping and exhilarated with awe and relief. For days they will float in the wonder of it, shaking their heads in amazement.
Why did the sharks assist the humans? Compassion, empathy, or altruism are considered human characteristics and certainly not attributed by humans to sharks.
The unexpected behavior on the part of the other is what makes the people feel so small, like they belong, and that arouses the desire to expand the sense of connection.
They keep in touch to reaffirm for each other the marvel that happened. The impact of the sharks’ behavior on these people is impossible to fathom. It changes how they view the ocean, sharks, and other creatures. It floods them with immense humility and gratitude that life has assisted them. In return, they each vow to pay it forward in all directions. They campaign for shark protection and for humans to respect all life. A deeper dimensionality has opened up in them, a sense of kinship that revises their notions of identity, transforms the old narratives that pit humans against nature, and causes them to commit to reciprocation.
New Moon Message, February 11, 20101
Each new moon I ask my guides for a story to reflect the energy of the month ahead:
In a bare patch of soil, there’s the first glimpse of a green stem with its white bud. A few people are gathered round on the stark hilltop to watch it unfurl. They are in awe of its ability to navigate the process, trusting that it will be strong enough to push up from the earth, to withstand the wind, that it will be spared from unsuspecting feet or nibbling rodents.
The beautiful white flower they had imagined, but even before it has fully revealed itself the pure beauty of it deeply moves the witnesses. Is the beauty itself part of the promise of the flower? Who or what planted the bulb they don’t know, but there were signs and they had hopes and now at the tail end of winter they have put those hopes on its emergence: Life in the ground still. Nourishment yielding a bloom still. The ability of a flower to flower still.
When it has fully opened its whiteness, that will be another moment of reckoning. What will be their response and responsibility then for what comes next? But for now it has given them something in the bleak landscape to gather round. (Do they remember what to do? How to greet a flower?) For now they share hope and relief that their trust has been answered. Will it be enough for them to live off? One single white flower.
New Moon Message January 13, 2021
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.
New Moon, November 15, 2020
Chez Liley New Moon, Relational Field 0
There’s a high dry mountain peak. Red sand and small stones at the summit. Only the wind lives here. It pushes a stray twig there, rolls a little pebble there. It is re-arranging space, so it can blow over and between things.
Wind can’t stay in one spot. It only exists in motion. When it dies down, it is no longer a breeze.
Filling the space is dynamic and satisfying when, even for an instant, there is resistance, when the wind pushes and receives pushback. When the wind falls, the space feels flat.
The wind likes to meet resistance, it enjoys being harnessed. It is looking to be held or to encounter something it can push against.
It lives on the peak, but the wind gets bored and sets off in search of something to push against. It can pursue only one direction at a time, even if it’s a changeable wind. It wants to be harnessed by a sail to be productive, as horses pulling a plough feel how the resistance of the harness invites them to press forward.
But the trick is not to cause the wind to panic. Not to catch it, but to hold it an instant, then relax. The sail snaps, then curves, and the wind can slip away at the sides. The boat embraces enough wind to lift it creaming over the water, just as birds find the contours of the wind’s shape and run over those edges, not against them.
Give the wind space. Make space, or it will knock things away, or stop coming at all.
Hold it only in measure for what you need—a small amount can carry you far.
Be aerodynamic, with no excess baggage, and tailor yourself to be carried.
Go only where the wind takes you, and you’re a leaf in the breeze. Keep your direction in mind and that offers something to catch the wind.
Keep your direction in mind, but remember there are many ways to get there. If you can’t have the wind at your back, you can tack into it, and you can take an indirect course—the journey is all.