How is it that in our deepest time of need, there comes a light of wisdom that helps us to see in the darkness? To see where our attention needs to be. To remember what is sacred in the midst of tumult.
One night I fell asleep, yearning to make sense of certain events in my life. It was a time of prayer and loss. That night I had a dream. In the dream was a tree, and in the tree rested a large, white egg in the center, held in the branches. I awoke with energy and strength, and the knowledge that I must care for this egg. It was whole. Something complete was emerging.
A while ago, at an event for volunteers and staff at the shelter where we hold a program for women who are homeless, I was to give a brief talk about our circles. I started by saying that we sit with the women in silence, and then we each share what arises. That we simply provide a place where they can access their own inner wisdom. And we hold, inwardly, the deep awareness of the women’s sacred nature.
A woman waved her hand in the air insistently. “I need to say something!” Surprised, I just nodded. What she needed to say just tumbled out.
“Two years ago I was standing outside the church by the shelter in the early evening. I saw a woman sitting on the steps. I thought to myself that she was homeless, and I judged her. I felt fear. But then the woman spoke. And I forget all about what she said until just now. I remembered it, when you were talking. The woman said, “We need to listen to each other. God put wisdom into the hearts of each one of us. We must listen.” I’m sorry to interrupt, but I had to say this. She said exactly what you’re saying!”
To give words to this wisdom, which speaks in its own language – sometimes subtle like a wildflower and at other times direct and startling, we need a certain faithfulness to the soul. Faithfulness, and a sense of value of this other way of knowing that sustains life.
I had a dream about how wisdom arises. I was shown a clock, and was told that the wisdom I need will come into consciousness at the right time. I did not need to know in advance, what was to come. It had a rhythm of its own, and responded to our own need and the need of life itself.
“Do not see the appearances,” I was told in a dream. “Focus instead on the sacred in life.” And then I heard “The old way is permeated by the new.”
We are needed to act, yes, but also, to value the power of our own wisdom. So my understanding of wisdom is that it is showing us how to live. Like a template that we need to bring into our consciousness, into our everyday life.
It seems that we are each given the light to see how to be. To become aware of life, but not caught in it and caring for what is new. Like seeing blossoms beginning to open on a tree.