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First Quarter Moon
Dreams, chants, noble silence, woods and owls
Greetings on the first quarter moon!
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Brought to you by Owl.
During my recent retreat in rural Wisconsin, while out on a walk I heard two barred owls calling back and forth to each other, warranting me while I crossed the white pine woods on the retreat property. They were so dense that entering them was like walking into nighttime. With their sawing voices accompanying me, it was a dream while walking. A dream coming in the midst of a dreamlike weekend. Where eighteen of us walked around like ghosts in mostly silence while caring for our bodies and minds, with attention, movement, breath, and slowness.
I checked my hands, as I was taught to do, when the dreamy happens while you’re awake: is this a dream?
They describe retreat silence as noble. And we were noble ghosts. Passing each other without speaking, fulfilling our retreat tasks. No talking required, only when necessary. When you break the silence, your concern is about intruding on the other’s quietude. But sometimes you have to, questions come up. And, it’s an act of discernment, an exercise in and of itself, to choose when to speak and if it’s completely necessary.
How did the owls choose to chant a call and response, their classic barred owl one-liner, who-cooks-for-you? Was it because we ghosts were passing through their woods that they stirred up the sound deep in their owl chests? Perhaps they chant like we all do. To feel the vibration move through you, regulating their owl nervous systems with palpable sound, spreading outward, through their bodies and across the forest. Through me.
Later when I went out they were as noble and silent as we were, even though I wished for them to pipe up again.
It was only as I was leaving I heard their call one last time, from the parking lot, outside of those dark woods and back to reality in the front seat of my car, phone back in hand. Checking again to see if I was still dreaming.
Here is first quarter moon meditation for any paid subscribers who are following along with the whole rotation.
Below I made a meditation for you, freely given today and behind the paywall by full moon, on November 27th.
Songs of Forgiveness is a reader-supported publication. Thank you for your attention and all the ways you promote the values of love, accountability, and forgiveness.