The Gift of Alabama: We are One
I was recently invited to go to Alabama to give a retreat, but it was postponed for a later date. A small group of women there decided to meet anyway, and at the last minute, my friend and colleague Lynda Terry suggested we hold a conversation with them via telephone.
Eleven women came together in Mentone, Alabama , sitting on a covered porch around a speakerphone on a Friday evening. There was a soft and gentle rain, and the call of the whippoorwill could be heard in the distance with other night sounds. After we all introduced ourselves, I asked what they wanted from this meeting. Their response was,
“ How can we be together with other women in a place of trust and caring, for the greater good?”
I spoke, as did Lynda, of trusting the longing that calls us together—the longing that brings us to our own deep desire for peace, for God, for the Truth. We also discussed how silence has a way of holding us, keeping our orientation towards the One while we allow our deep feminine wisdom to arise in its own time, and be shared.
I told of the many dreams and visions of women that I have heard, and how increasingly they reveal the need for women to connect, to work together in a new way as one. Each of us has our individual relationship to the divine, coming perhaps from different spiritual traditions, yet when we gather and share from the heart, something new and important takes place. I mentioned some writing about the feminine given to me by a retreat participant in Georgia, who described the song of the feminine as “we are one, we are one.”
I shared a dream told me by a woman in England, in which she saw a vast quilt that women were sewing together, while learning to work ‘as one.' “And what was important,” she was told in the dream, “was what was stitched into the quilt— and this is love.”
Towards the end of our telephone gathering, I described a meditation of the heart, and we sat in silence for a short time. Such a sweetness arose in our hearts, a sweetness unlike any experience I have had on a telephone!
Many years ago I had a vision in which I saw a swirl of people in small groups across the country, held in a feminine container that reached from heaven to earth. The feminine is this force of love that holds the two worlds together. I recalled this image and realized that it was taking place, right here, in this conversation with the women in Alabama .
My teacher had once described to me a new way that women could work together. He explained a non-hierarchical network made up of the wholeness of individual women, within a greater whole. Because this network was alive, it could be fed a high frequency of energy that would nourish life enormously. “Women are needed by life now,” he said, “to work in this way for the world.”
I have recently come to imagine this as a network of lace, formed out of our connections with one another – with space and silence interwoven – as we discover the universal knowing of the feminine. Lace is an ancient feminine craft created over time and with infinite care. Likewise, our individual lives, our intricate patterns, when woven together, become a network through which light – and love – can flow into life.
Several women wrote after our Alabama ‘event':
It is so special to be able to connect with each other across our large and amazing country. I know that you could somehow see the faces of all the women seated around the round table with an old country quilt illuminated by one beautiful spiral candle…. After we got off the phone, the women opted to stay on the porch and not return to the Hall. It felt as if it would break up the energy. After the meditation and call we started to share at a deep place… I believe we need this nourishment of sharing deeply our soul's song with others longing to share theirs. I hope this gives you some feel for how your work is touching deep spaces in women's hearts all over the country.
Maybe our meeting last night was a starting point to open our awareness...a reminder that we can unite our own individual strengths into a whole so that we can make a difference in not just our own lives but maybe even for humanity as a whole. I certainly feel like last night we made a bond and opened our heart to trusting and sending forth love and healing to each other. Hopefully we can continue this effort and once we are all feeling strong in each other's presence we can take that strength forth and do something spectacular to make a difference. That is my dream and vision for all of us.
We may not know the effects of a simple act, such as sharing a longing that unites us. Yet in this gift from Alabama , I felt the power of such simplicity. We were connecting over space and time across the country; technology, in service to ‘the greater good,' served as a vehicle for grace and for the feminine.
At the end of the conversation, one of the women asked if we could hear the whippoorwill. I asked if she could hear our crickets. “We are in the same space!” she exclaimed. And this is the mystery— we are one, we are one.