Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? She’s the bird who thought the sky was falling when an acorn dropped on her head. She panics and convinces her friends they’re all doomed and that they must go and tell the king.
There are many different versions of the tale, and in some, Chicken Little is named Henny Penny. That’s what my grandfather called me when I was a little girl. He died when I was in high school, so it never occurred to me to ask him whether he did that because it rhymed with Jenny or because he sensed some doomsday energy in me.
I think about this as we head toward Saturday’s new moon and first solar eclipse of the season. In ancient times, people were terrified of eclipses. Many cultures thought the daytime darkness was caused by a mythological beast devouring the sun.
Solar eclipses carry powerful energy indeed, but today we know they occur because the moon passes between the earth and the sun, not because a beast has taken a bite out of it. It makes me wonder what viewpoints we will have when we are centuries forward from now. If humans are still around, what will we know to be true? Even if not, what will our soul perspective be?
Is the sky really falling? It can certainly seem that way sometimes. And like in the Chicken Little story, we can often talk each other into believing the world is falling apart. But what if we are evolving rather than spinning toward disaster? What if the Universe is working for us instead of doing something to us?
It’s helpful to me to consider this when I feel bogged down personally. The barriers in my path generally turn out to be the very things that route me to my greatest blessings. I know this to be true. Yet I don’t want to minimize the challenges on the road to finding those gifts. Sometimes it’s not an acorn falling on our head, it’s a boulder, or even a truckload of boulders. We have to feel the pain, we have to walk through the darkness, and it can take a while until we find the light. Sometimes the only thing we can do is trust the Universe and take a step forward.
Collectively, I believe we are evolving. And I think the energy of this evolution is accelerated. We may actually be evolving more quickly than ever before, or maybe it just seems faster because we have access to more information. Whatever it is, this change energy can feel uncomfortable, like our nervous systems are out of whack. Like the sky is falling and we can’t do anything about it.
But if it’s true on the micro level that our greatest challenges bear our greatest gifts, why wouldn’t that also be true at the macro level? What if the sky is not really falling? What if the things in the world that feel chaotic, unfair, hateful, wrong, and even abhorrent are also pushing us to do more in the name of Love? To give up a few comforts in order to do what’s healthier for the earth. To stand up for the rights of other humans and animals. To listen to people we don’t agree with. To be kinder to ourselves. What if what seems like destruction is actually the precursor to expansion?
The Chicken Little story loses its magic in the end, in my opinion. After the little bird and her friends escape from being lured into the den of Foxy Loxy, they find the king who plucks the acorn off Henny Penny’s head and tells her the sky is not falling. The end.
As we near the first solar eclipse of the season, a time holding potent energy for new beginnings, I would like to offer a new ending to our tale. At least one of Henny Penny’s friends would question her assumption that the sky is falling. Instead of running around in a panic, she would sit quietly and listen to her soul’s perspective on what was happening. She would dream of a new kind of world where things did not randomly fall on your head and then simply begin to do what she could to build it. And she would know that her step forward would invite the Universe to co-create something more beautiful than she ever imagined.