For me, the day begins before the sun rises. It is a time I love, a time when I am alone, and the world begins anew. I usually open the window to listen. A bird sings a single note, a few houses away.
There is something that goes on in this moment before dawn, a deep relatedness that takes place.
How do we measure the sustenance we need for the soul? There is a natural way of being that we each live. Sometimes it is hidden, unknown even to ourselves.
I then sit in silent meditation, or in prayer that quiets my mind so that the heart can be in this silence.
It feels similar to the space in the circle with the women. It is a deep listening.
Then, I hear the footsteps of small feet, the crack of the door opening for the cat to come in. The voice of my granddaughter, and the day begins.
Recently, I sat in a circle with some women who live in shelters, some of the shelter’s facilitators and some women in training.
I noticed that I didn’t have much to say, and the silence kept coming in. There was deepening stillness. I didn’t try to fill it. So I offered a writing practice, which would continue to hold this quality of quiet while the women wrote. I became aware of the women’s hearts. I can describe this as a witnessing that connects us, creating a space in which all are equal who sit in this circle.
And in this space for healing, invisibly so, the work of love carries on.
We listened as the women shared after the writing, how the seams of their lives had fallen apart. For one, it was a relationship with her daughter, now severed. For another, it was the relationship with her inner self that had been forgotten, and was now drawing her back to her real nature. For another, it was the shock of finding herself homeless, after years of working and raising her family and now unable to work.
One woman spoke that this was her first time in the circle. She described how she felt in the meditation. That she had never felt more relaxed in her whole life. And that she had fallen asleep during the meditation and had a dream. This had never happened before. And another woman shared that she had not thought about love before, and for the first time in years, felt tears.
The women spoke about trust, surrender, and receptivity. We closed with three minutes of silence.
Afterwards, I got into my car and started driving towards the main road. One of the participants ran out to see me. Her face was beaming. “I just want to say that was wonderful. Really wonderful.”
I was deeply touched by this woman’s spontaneous response and as I drove home I recalled a woman’s dream told to me many years ago:
I see a woman who weighs one-third of her normal body weight. Two other women and I sing to her of the feminine, which she had forgotten. She said she couldn’t remember what we sang to her, except for the words offering and love.
Again I wondered, how do we measure this inner mending that goes on, this work of love that touches, that repairs threads that have been broken, that catalyzes.
When I greet the dawn, there is no need for an answer.