Solstice Greetings: Gift from the Sea

I was in the Moonflower natural food store in Moab, Utah last week and walked by the free bin and found that it was quite full that day. In the bin was a used copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift form the Sea. I reached for the book without hesitation and took it home for a refresher on its contents, as I hadn’t read it in years. The book begins this way:
 
The beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think. I should have remembered that from other years. Too warm, too damp too soft for any real mental discipline or sharp flights of spirit. One never learns. Hopefully, one carries down the faded straw bag, lumpy with books, clean paper, long over-due unanswered letters, freshly sharpened pencils lists and good intentions. The books remain unread, the pencils break their points, and the pads rest smooth and unblemished as the cloudless sky. No reading, no writing, no thoughts even—at least, not at first. 
 
The current Saturn/Neptune square continues to teach us the dance between dissolution and discipline. Dissolution has us going to the proverbial beach in our minds, in our hearts, our souls. We long for transcendence, for relief. We long for the folding in of time and space. To not have to work that hard. For the thing to come on us like a wave. To live within a poem, to meditate all day, to listen to music all night, to just keep watching Netflix until we fall asleep and dream.
 
At first the tired body takes over completely. As on a shipboard, one descends into the deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the seashore. Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules. One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone. One becomes, in fact, like the element on which one lies, flattened by the sea; bare, open empty as he beach, erased by today’s tides of all yesterday’s scribblings. 
 
In the back of our minds there is the reality of Saturn: our backbone and tool box. But we know we cannot push, prod or MAKE things happen. Saturn tells us to lie in wait for the right timing and then to proceed. 
 
And then, some morning in the second week, the mind wakes , comes to life again. Not in a city sense—no –but beach –wise. It begins to drift, to play, to turn over in gentle careless rolls like those lazy waves on the beach. One never knows what chance treasure these easy unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind; what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor. Perhaps a channeled whelk, a moon shell, or even an argonaut. 
 
But it must not be sought for or—heaven forbid—dug for. No, no dredging of the sea bottom here. That would defeat one’s purpose. The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach, waiting for a gift from the sea. 

ne should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach, waiting for a gift from the sea. And perhaps the discipline is in the waiting, listening, and recognizing the treasures that lie at our feet, that were actually there all along. What are the treasure at your feet that you've taken for granted? 

On this second Sag Full Moon Solstice I ask you to play with the magical seashore where our dreams meet reality, where our longing for escape meets our desire for success. How will we manage both of these impulses? How will we harness this tension into something fortifying and nutritious? 

I am thinking of all of you today. Wondering what you're doing, thinking, dreaming. What special moments are you sharing with your family and loved ones. What intentions are yours. What thoughts are you thinking in your most quiet moments. I can only hope that part of your day today brings a smile of kind gratefulness for the treasures that have been yours all along.