The Heart Knows


What is so private, so inner, is the heart, where our prayers come from, our tears. Where mercy, compassion and love are born. Once I saw a seed in the night, in a dream. It was a seed of compassion. I have been thinking about the heart and the wisdom that lives within.

The day before I was to give an interview on New Dimensions Radio, I took a few minutes to rest. I had been preparing for the interview, and writing down some notes about what I could say. And then, in this state between waking and sleep, unexpectedly there arose an image of a video of the Kogi people. It was inside a clear plastic bag.

The Kogi are indigenous people who have lived in the mountains of Columbia in South America, for thousands of years. They are known as ‘the elder brother’ as they spiritually care for the world. They have implored ‘the younger brother’ of the West to awaken and to stop polluting and desecrating Mother Earth.

I felt the image was asking me to take the Kogi video out of the plastic bag.  So I searched for it online. I had last seen it a decade ago, but as I watched it again, tears streamed down my face. For the rest of the day I was deep in thought about the Kogi and their message to us.

The following day, during the interview, I knew the interviewer wanted to talk about dreams. But I knew that I had to also speak of the earth and women.

It felt vulnerable to speak about what is so private, what we know as an intimacy with the earth. It is what we feel while walking alone on a hilltop, or smelling the honey from a coyote bush, or listening to a bird at sunrise – feeling the earth, as alive.

I felt uneasy driving home from the interview. Had I said too much?

The next day, one of the listeners wrote to me. She described herself as a Christian Pentecostal believer. She said that dreams have always been important to her, but recently she had a dream that disturbed her. She wrote hoping that I might help her understand it.

I was riding a horse in the sky. I flew past skyscrapers high in the sky. The horse did not have wings and I do not even remember what color it was. I remember galloping on high and when I started coming down to the ground, I was looking down at the earth. An overwhelming feeling of love swept over me. “I love the world,” I said. Then I am at my estranged sister’s house and there is no longer a problem between us.

She continued: “The dream bothered me, because as a Christian we are not supposed to love the world, but the love I felt was so pure and intense. Is this a pure love or a carnal love?”

I responded, saying that I believed in her heart she already knew the answer. And that her dream, or experience, was connected to the very essence of Christianity.

I was so deeply touched by her dream. It gave me hope because her love for the earth burst through the confines of her conditioning. And it also touched and affirmed something very basic in her life – her relationship with her estranged sister.

We know that there is a sacred substance in women that can nourish the earth. It makes no sense to the mind. Just like the image that came to me of the video of the Kogi, that made no sense to my rational mind. But I held it, trusted what was just a hint, and it took me deeper.

Her dream, and the knowing in our heart, reminds me of Hildegard von Bingen’s prayer of life. As a Benedictine abbess, philosopher and Christian mystic, she heard God speaking:

I am the breeze that nurtures all things green,

I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits. 

I am the rain coming from the dew,

that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.

I have been thinking how Love wants to be in life through us. Not a different life, or a special one, but the life that we have.

The Heart Knows
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11 years ago

I, too, was struck by your statement about the vulnerability of speaking of your intimacy with the earth. Recently I felt a similar vulnerability and simply wanted to hide. Yet I crave to know that others share my deep love of the places on earth where we live and am so grateful to hear it spoken of; out loud.

11 years ago

There is such richness with all the thoughts written by everyone. And the connections as one comment leads to another.

11 years ago

Oh, dear sister, what beautiful words to describe a beautiful experience! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I can relate to your uncertainties about “sharing too much”… I too am often unsure as to how much I should say and relate to people who ask me. I am not sure whether it is all a natural instinct that seeks to protect the space in which the sacred substance can live and work, or whether it is also in part a conditioning… for so long, we were unable to show our true nature. Personally, I struggle with bringing the inner healing work I do with the land into the outer… it’s a bit scary and leaves me feeling naked and vulnerable.

Cori Hetzel
11 years ago

O Sister of my Heart, I too am being reminded of the Kogi and have not seen the film yet, but I will! I too, am reminded daily to see through the eyes of my Heart which bypass my mind and to follow that beautiful thread into Her World, Her Earth Here and Now and I accept Her invitation to remember. The thread you followed, and have been following, for as long as I have known you, holds up the mirror of Her Divine Face and reveals It as Our own. In deep appreciation for the clarity and LOVE reflected in Your polished Heart………

Carolyn Treadway
11 years ago

How beautiful your writing is! And how deeply it conveys Truth–the truth of our profound connection with Earth. Thank you for your sharing.

11 years ago

Thank you Anne,

Kristina Turner
11 years ago

Oh, Anne – how beautiful that this comes from you today, when you and your wisdom are already in my heart. I love that you, too, listen for these images that arise in the space between waking and sleep. Such fertile mystery is here for us, when we can trust ourselves enough to ask, wait and listen.