Always, life calls to us, speaks to us, if we can hear. Life, this living organism, has its own wisdom. I have heard in women’s dreams that there is a way we can be part of that wisdom, directly affecting the life around us. And one of the ways that women can help life is through trust in the unseen, the inner, the soul.
A mother tells me of how, many years ago, she tried to wean her son. The first night, she heard him crying, and doubts filled her. Her husband told her to hold on, to wait. That night she went to sleep deeply worried. And then came this dream.
I saw my little boy lying in his bed. There I could see a beautiful green vine that rose up from his body to far above. Every worry left me. From this dream, I knew he had his own connection that would nourish him. I could let go.
When I heard her dream, it was like a gift, a blessing. From empty nest to full, from sadness to joy, there are so many transitions in a woman’s life. Each time, our heart has to let go, even when there is no outer sign or reason to trust.
I have held on too tightly at times. Even though I know that we must hold love lightly. One early morning, standing in the kitchen, waking up from a restless night, I realized that I had to trust this sacred stream of life. I needed to live in a completely different way. The Tao speaks of this way of being—a way that, for many years, I had yearned to live.
That night, I had a dream. It felt personal, but also spoke of a collective possibility.
A woman leads me to a new structure that is spacious and simple inside, a structure built by men. They had tapped into a new source of water coming from deep within the earth. The water surges up clear and pure, as if from a spring. It pours out from the earth, but then I am concerned. Will this deplete the groundwater?
I am told that this water comes from a different source that is unending. It cannot be exhausted. I notice pieces of wood on shelves, each one unique, carved by hand. These pieces are needed for the mechanism that ensures the water supply. I am shown that this water is for the community. And that every community can access the water in the same way.
Our culture is in a place where we don’t believe in any of this. Not personally, or culturally. How many times have I reached that point, where there is no sense of light in a difficult situation that seems beyond help. And yet, in prayer, in the heart crying, the water of grace can come into my life. And then comes gratitude. One morning, I hear upon waking these words that rise up out of silence: Without joy, there can be no love.
So this I contemplate, how to allow joy? It seems incongruous in our times, with so much loss. But this is a way. A real way to live that serves the community, that serves life.