I had a dream a year ago showing me the language of life. I was told: Speak about it, this language of life. How to hear it, how to decipher its meaning.
The dream waited patiently, in the back of my awareness, waiting until I could trust, and engage with this deep inner knowing that shows the next step. Amid fear, anxiety, and profound uncertainty, the dream simply showed a way.
And so here, because it took a year before I could speak about the dream, I begin.
In any relationship there is a sense of watchfulness. “We keep watch on the world and for the world,” say the Sufis. Symbolically, we notice how the world, nature, connects with our dreams and our own inner mystery, if we pay attention.
One night, before I fell asleep, I felt the weight of a difficult situation in my life. I prayed that night, for the people involved, for the complexity of the situation. And then this turned into a prayer for the world.
That night, I awoke after hearing these words in my sleep. They crossed over the threshold into wakefulness. I had heard these words: Love. Nourishment. Peace.
Over the following months, I held these words, their energy, and they began to penetrate, like rays of light, into my way of being. This process was familiar, yet also felt new. I watched – my own inner life and the life around me.
Over time, while the complexity remained, I began to catch glimpses of change. A tenderness, greater compassion, a lightness that began to take root. A child, softening. Moments of ease, even amid chaos.
Years ago, an indigenous grandmother named Maria, told a small gathering of women, “We must live love. We must be love.”
And now life was speaking, showing me to understand what it needed. Like watching a garden, knowing what to water, what to nourish, and what to leave alone.
Life, alive and sometimes, with wonder, speaking a language that is bundled with meaning.
There is a place up north in the Mendocino coast, called Schooner’s Gulch. It’s hard to find. There is just a single, almost hidden sign on the road. Yet it always feels like stepping into another world there. Clear water from the hillside turns into a rippling creek which my grandchild loved to play in. This creek flowed out across the sand, out to the place where the waves tumbled onto the beach.
To me, this meeting place is inside my life – inside our lives. Even in these extraordinarily difficult times, the language of life speaks to us.
Seeing how the world has become so complex, can it be that we need to go inside to help with inner nourishing solutions? Where we can find a still place within that flows out to meet the river? We step at the threshold of another world where the land and the ocean meet, and there we sit, waiting for inspiration and a quiet opening that quenches our inner desert.
If we can hold this, can we awaken a current inside us that is more resonate with beauty, with love? Maybe we can each find our way, sitting with something in nature that sparks us: a bird, the way the light falls across the valley.
I wonder if this will help us reconnect our soul to the ancient soul of the earth. And in doing so, it will leave us not so isolated, as in these days of coronavirus where we can all feel so alone.
Painting by Linda Justice, 1984, Grotto of St. Francis of Assisi.