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