A Hidden Wholeness


Years ago I lived in a small fishing village by the South China Sea, working as a journalist, living with my partner. Our first child was born there. I remember seeing the grandmothers in the village carrying their young grandchildren on their backs as they bought food at the market, or washed vegetables by the water tap near the temple. They were lively, these grandmothers, engaged in talk or laughter as they worked together. It seemed to me that they connected at a deep level of life, not just the outer work but also an inner resonance with the sacred.

One day, in a small house in the village I sat with two grandmothers and a great-grandmother. The great-grandmother, her face etched from years of fishing and farming, spoke freely, a stream of ancient knowing, of fertile seasons, of drought and famine, and how she cared for seven children when food was scarce. They were welcoming me, a young Western woman with a baby, in a way that I hadn’t known before. Not in friendship so much, as in their way of sharing.

I will always be grateful for their welcome and this quality that they reflected to me, which belongs to all of us – men and women, with children or not. A sacred thread that connects us to a magic in life. Without it, we are lonely and impoverished.

Why do I write about this now? Because the world has changed, a simpler time is gone. And yet, we now know that this silent undercurrent which serves life is needed for the world, and can be held in our hearts with tenderness.

Around the time when my grandchild was born, I had a dream. In the dream a woman speaks with a sense of urgency. “There is a knowledge that belongs to a matriarchal lineage. It is ancient, so ancient. Women need to become conscious of it now. For they can plant something, like seeds, in the beginning and in the end. They do this vibrationally.”

I came to understand this while living with my young granddaughter and my mother who was ninety-six. During that time, I felt I stood at the beginning and at the end with a pressing need to remember, to awaken to this deep knowledge.

How do we see the wholeness even as fragmentation is what confronts us daily?

For each of us, what values, what sacredness do we hold in our breath, our walks, our cooking, our prayers? How do we plant these seeds?

One day, I reached what I would say was a crisis of impossibility. Overcome as I was by certain difficulties, I could go no further. It was early morning and a pale light was just beginning to seep through the blinds. I closed my eyes to meditate. And then, after a few minutes, an image came – of rain, a soft rain coming down onto the earth.

And then I was able to breathe deeply, a visceral trust rising upwards in my being. A love that can hold the hidden wholeness. That was the way forward.

The mystery of creation is a feminine mystery. It is the mystery of being. A woman carries the secret of how multiplicity comes from oneness within her heart and body.         ~ Angela Fischer



A Hidden Wholeness
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Carol Thomason
1 year ago

Thank you Anne for sharing this and so much. This ancient wisdom that you are sharing, that you encountered in Hong Kong, and that is with us always, even when hidden, is so powerful. Thank you always for reminding us. Carol

1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Thomason

Carol, so grateful for your response!

Kittie Tallis
1 year ago

Thank you for this. I am on day seven of hospice with my mother. We were super close when I was a child. I feel that I am losing myself in the current of her dying. Maybe there is something I am meant to remember while my mom and I go through this.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kittie Tallis

I would like to respond if I can as I can speak from a similar lived experience. In this time there is a deep mystery, a threshold, and if one is sensitive, and close, we will feel this current even more strongly. But during the days of hospice, I saw how I could trust in the grace that is always given at this time. Then I could be here, with my feet on the ground. I could stand here at this threshold, with love.
Thank you for sharing in such an intimate way. A prayer for you both at this time.

Veronique Mayne
1 year ago

Dear Anne,
I am very touched by your words: “they connected at a deep level of life, not just the outer work but also an inner resonance with the sacred.” and how the women welcomed you… “Not in friendship so much, as in their way of sharing.”
Thanking you deeply, for connecting through your blog in the way those grand-mothers did all those years ago.
with love, Veronique