Kathy is new to the women’s shelter circle.She said she had never meditated but she was willing to try. She has eight siblings she has always looked after, and has never had time for herself.
After meditation she said quietly, “I thought I heard someone ask, Where’s Kathy? And then God spoke to me asking, How would you love a little child? And I answered, “I would be caring, loving, cherishing the child.” Then I heard: You need to care for your own child inside.
Kathy told us, “I never get to this place of quiet, where there’s no anxiety. I’ve never felt this before.”
And then there was Beth, who said she was afraid to be in that place of quiet. But then she remembered to breathe like the ocean waves, in and out, and was drawn inside, and saw an image of herself with Jesus and the ocean.
Beth said, “I don’t know how, but I feel connected to each of you.”
These women reminded me of a dream in which I heard the words, ‘Speak to women about the birth, and then, through them, the birds will hear.’ So I share some thoughts about this dream, in the hope that it might touch the older, inner knowing that lives in each of us.
There is a silence that is still yet dynamic. It opens to a wider vista than we perceive with our everyday mind and all of its lists and things to do. In this silence we sit, wait, and listen to what is essential to life. This stillness holds the inner and outer life together. Then this infinite place within is more accessible, more available, to those who want it. It asks that we surrender each day, holding true to a deeper stream of life. In this silence we are fed from the sacred stream that nourishes life.
Both Kathy and Beth’s experiences spoke of the birth of this sacred place within, shared in their own language and traditions. Their images and words show them how to stay with this space that is generative, alive with possibility. Kathy’s experience pointed to a way of holding, like looking after a child. In Beth’s image she experienced a feeling of being connected, where she no longer lived in isolation.
At night, when the house is quiet, the little one asleep, the older one resting, I take a few minutes to walk and breathe. My life has changed so radically in the last year and I must take this time, this night walk, to align myself before I go to sleep. When I look at the stars, so tender in the darkness, gratitude rises up, and with it, a natural response of wonder.
How can this be? Like Mary, I hold this question. This breathing of the cold night air restores a deep knowing that sometimes gets crowded out by the needs of the day. In silence, I hold a space too. It’s not the absence of sound. It is an inner holding of this space.
Through women, the birds will hear. I hear these words and know, as Beth did, what it means to feel connected.
I know one contribution we can make, and for me it is the river from which all other contributions flow. It is to be aware of this wonder, even in the midst of all that is falling apart.