Raven’s Teaching: Fly Differently
A few weeks ago, I went out for a morning walk, and received a teaching from a beautful raven that I understood immediately was to be shared with other humans.
Forest fires were burning here in northern New Mexico and all over the western US; smoke from the fires was hanging heavy in the air. I couldn’t see my beloved mountains; a brown haze covered everything.
And, that morning, there was a really, really strong wind…strong enough that I considered not going outside.
But I wanted to walk, and I needed to be outdoors, and so out I went. As I walked, I noticed that my body was tense, struggling against the wind; my throat and eyes burned from the smoke, and thought after thought ran through my mind.
There were thoughts about how terrible the wind was for the fires in our area which were not yet under control; thoughts about how terrible the smoke was for all of our lungs; thoughts about how the smoke and the fires made people’s vulnerability even greater in this time of Covid-19; on and on my thoughts went. I wasn’t enjoying my walk; I wasn’t enjoying my body; I was in a state of struggle, tension, upset, and anxiety.
After some time of this struggle-walking in this way, I remembered my shamanic training, and reminded myself that Wind Element, in all of its manifestations, is an important and powerful Ally. I shifted my perspective and asked to be in more alignment with Wind, respecting its partnership and gifts, and asking Wind to help to blow away and release my anxious thoughts, all that was no longer serving me, and to partner with me and all life in this great time of shift, challenge, and transformation.
And then, I saw her: Raven. There are many of them in my area, and I love their energy, their antics, their calls…really, everything about them. My Afghan hounds and the ravens have a fun relationship…the ravens fly low enough over our land to entice the Afghans to chase them, but of course never low enough that the dogs could actually catch them. The play this game almost daily, and it never fails to make me laugh with delight.
The raven was in the air, pretty much flying in place in the strong wind. I commented, partly to myself, partly directed to her,
“It’s not easy, is it??!!”
She heard my communication, and responded with the telepathic equivalent of,
“Huh? Say what? What do you mean??”
I replied, “The wind! The crazy, wild wind! It’s not easy, flying against the wind, is it?!”
And she responded so clearly, so precisely, and with such perceptive wisdom that it stopped my human-centered thinking-ness right in its tracks.
“It’s not hard for me,” Raven said. “I’m not flying AGAINST the wind, I’m flying IN the wind. I just ride the currents. I fly in place when needed, and then in the break between the gusts I ride the currents.
There are many different ways to get where I’m going.
I just have to fly differently when the wind is strong.”
I realized how much I struggled unnecessarily; how much even my thoughts about the fires, global climate change, the pandemic, all of it, were thoughts of struggle, challenge, difficulty.
What if I could approach this time, all of these challenges, and my life, more like Raven met and partnered with the Wind?
What if I, and each of us, could realize that in this time, we have to “fly differently”? That our old ways of being, doing, thinking, aren’t so useful right now, and that adapting and shifting, without struggle, can allow us to travel in a new way?
This simple, straightforward, and wise teaching changed my energy for the rest of the day. As I watched my raven teacher fly into the arroyo, I bowed to her and offered my thanks. As we left each others’ company, she reminded me that her perspective might be helpful for other humans.
And so, with great gratitude, I share this raven’s simple and profound teaching.
Can we learn to fly differently? Can we shift our perspective from struggle to acceptance, from arguing with what is to learning to ride the currents of air in the pauses between the gusts? Can we remember that there are many different possibilities, many different ways to navigate our journeys?
There are many different ways to fly, and in strong winds, we need to fly differently.