Dreaming of Glory

In the dream, I was supposed to be meeting with my spiritual director, a wisdom figure, at my home. However, my house was full of the chaos of grandchildren and their parents, who kept sidetracking me. At first my hands were full of the newborn infant, trying to settle him into a nap. Then the whole gang was playing a game of cards and no one was playing by the rules (the younger ones didn’t at all understand what they were ‘supposed’ to be doing) and so the game was never ending. At last, I broke free and moved to a quiet room where the wisdom figure joined me.

Of course, the wisdom figure had not been simply waiting, off alone in that quiet set-apart room, he’d been right there in the house, in the room amidst all that boisterous energy of family life. Still, I apologized for making him wait, for not being able to make the space and time to sit with him. His response? “But don’t you see? The mystical spirit (the Mystery of Love) was flowing through the whole of it”

I was thrust into the crucible of motherhood at a very young age. Soon had 5 children to raise, a painful divorce before they were all fledged, the first grandchildren arriving when my youngest was still in high school. For years the story I told was that life had happened to me, beyond my control, and that I had somehow missed out on who/what I was supposed to be/do with my ‘one wild and precious life’. I believed that when at last the children were grown, then I’d discover who I was to be, find my ‘self’. But alas no one was following the ‘rules’ I thought I needed them to follow in order to craft the life I imagined I was missing.  Caught in the cultural story of fulfillment, believing there was some other Self, some Thing I was supposed to do, I missed somehow the other line in that infamous Mary Oliver poem, the one where she is simply lying on the ground, watching the grasshopper’s jaws moving side to side, fully present to the Beauty of it all, rapt in attention, immersed in wonder.

Despite the fact that, all those years ago, I had been shown and I understood that I was here to Be Love, to Feed Love, to Be a Part of Love’s Becoming, it was hard for me to trust that was enough — that I was enough– particularly when I felt so overwhelmed by it all.  But something has shifted in me through the years, perhaps stage of life appropriately so. My eyes and my heart perhaps have been cleared of the cultural baggage that I carried about what made a life meaningful or important. Most recently, it seems as if some proverbial missing piece has fallen into place and I can see clearly the picture. Perhaps that piece could only fall into place when I Let Go the illusion. (And isn’t it funny how ‘getting there’ required ‘letting go’?)

For too long I believed that the gift that I was to be was still hidden for me to find as if it was something specific and concrete I would discover only after I had completed my years of being a mother. The advent of grandchildren, I mistakenly believed, threatened again the emergence of this hidden self, as if the role I’d been thrust into playing was somehow preventing my own becoming. How foolish I’ve been to not see that those roles, while yes, they were not ‘me’, were the channel through which I might bring forth and Become Love – the same as any other role I might have inhabited. They did not prevent a thing, rather they forged/revealed the very thing I’d been seeking. The hidden treasure within is that I AM Love, I Am manifesting Love in this place. What better role might one inhabit to bring forth the tender fruits of Love—compassion, empathy, forgiveness, forbearance, mercy, joy, peace, gentleness, bearing witness, patience—than the vulnerable, heart-opening, tender one of Mother.

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