It was the first day of a women’s circle at a small safe parking shelter in the town where I live. People who had nowhere else to live, except for their RVs and cars, could park in a fenced in area at the edge of town where food was offered, with utilities and basic social services. I wanted to hold weekly women’s circles there, partly to see how it would touch the women, and partly because the bleakness of the parking area was calling out for the nurturance of the feminine.
On that first afternoon, we sat in a large white tent. Chairs formed a circle. And I introduced the importance of how a women’s circle can strengthen oneself and each another through being together in a sacred way. I handed each woman several sunflower seeds, and spoke about the power of a seed. How it grows with light, water, and care. And then I invited the women to draw the seed. It was a simple exercise. But touching the seed, holding it in their hands, allowed the women to touch something deep within. It was enough, on that day, to simply affirm and honor the seed of life within.
We have access to these seeds within, and there is a knowledge of how to plant these seeds of life into the Earth. It belongs to such an ancient, feminine knowing that I had long ago forgotten, and then remembered again. Once I had a dream about the light within a tree, and how it could be seen only through feminine consciousness. And now, I see how each day requires that I hold an awareness of the light within the darkness of the Earth. I take a deep breath, notice the sky, or the way the moon at midnight highlights the branches of a redwood outside the back door. Then, I am here. The earth is also within me.
At this time of year, with the approach of the Winter Solstice, we celebrate the light hidden in the darkness. But now, as we are living in these darkening of times, and even as we have tears for our world and for those dear to us, we need to touch these seeds of life, and consciously hold them in the way that we know is needed.
We know that there is a light in the darkness. Often, at times of despair, we encounter it. Or in times of stillness, it’s like listening to snow as it falls to the ground. In such a moment, I have felt a sense of wonder. Or, as happens in the circle of women at the safe parking shelter, a woman reads aloud what she just wrote, and a light is suddenly present. A pattern of oneness hidden deep inside of life rises up out of nowhere.
One day, a woman who carried an unspeakable sorrow about the death of her daughter, quietly read what she wrote that warm afternoon, as we sat on plastic chairs in a circle on the bare earth, under an oak tree at the edge of the parking lot.
Once there was a wind. It was a southwest wind and it was blowing pretty good. The leaves on the trees were flapping around and were making a beautiful song. The grass on the land was making a beautiful swishing sound in the waters as the waves that blew up on the land were making a beautiful music. And when they all listened, they were making an absolutely beautiful sound together.
It is like this … a song that we can sing silently, an inner prayer for loved ones, for the Earth, for the world.