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At 3 A.M., I woke with this consoling dream:

It’s early spring, moist, fresh greening everywhere. I’m healthy, tanned, and stand tall, soft winds teasing my short white hair. I decide to shop for a new outfit to honor the season and step inside a Women’s Boutique. Inside, most of the clothing is made of the same wide striped light green and white fabric, billowy in texture. I’m thrilled. The barrette on the matching hat also draws customers’ interest. I’m delighted by my selection of the dress and hat.

Another glimpse into my psyche shows more healing of my femininity, one that is pure gift from Higher Power, despite periodic episodes of grief.

My reread of The Secret Lives of Bees (2002) disclosed the healing power of the Sacred Feminine. Its author Sue Monk Kidd displayed unusual artistry in fashioning this riveting story, its worldwide appeal galvanizing hearts.

Secrets abound, not only within the darkness of the beehives, but also within the inner worlds of the characters, given to dreams, musings, writing, and spirited imaginations. Multi-layered symbols also abound—orphan, mother, bees, death—their auras intermingling with shuddery feelings, with breathlessness. The ensuing images, enfleshed in precise words, fired the imagination of this reader.

Note: Above each chapter, headings of honeybee behaviors mirrored the story as it unfolded.

Enter the droll narrator, fourteen-year-old Lily Owens, with black hair that flies in many directions, living on a peach farm with her widower father in a bigoted South Carolina town. It was summer, 1964, hot with racism. Attuned to hunches, Lily sought resolution of her secret and found her way to a bee-keeping farm in the next town.

There, Lily met the Boatwright sisters whose large-bosomed blackness mothered her through grief. Their eclectic devotions to Our Lady of Chains, the ancient figurehead from a ship’s mast honored in their living room, also opened Lily to the Sacred Feminine “… hidden everywhere. Her heart a red cup of fierceness tucked among ordinary things.” From her, Lily drew courage, “not just to love, but to persist in love” for her orphaned psyche and those around her.

The Secret Lives of Bees continues enriching imaginations with Eros, sorely needed today, to heal poisonous fissures sickening planet Earth as well as those in our own hearts. We but need to ask, humbly…

Within dark recesses dwells the Sacred Feminine.

It was hard to wrap words around this waking experience, shimmering in blues like the night sky before total darkness. Its stillness opened me to distant realms, to uncanny rhythms, to womb-like nurturing, to joy. I put off full consciousness, savoring each instant. Imperceptibly, the dream faded and I opened my eyes, slowly. Then recorded it in my notebook.

For days, I pondered the dream’s implication — the Sacred Feminine embedded in creation — the revelation of an order more powerful than the unprecedented fears generated by telecommunication technologies saturating our planet. “Distracted by distraction,” a phrase taken from T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, unsuspecting media-watchers are dulled by daily reports of wars and mayhem, starvation, drought, political wrangling, societal and economic breakdown. More and more, an armed presence is justified to maintain “law and order.” Just look around. Listen.

In my perception, evil lurks within this darkness; its might, evidenced by war-toys, effectively quells the dissident, wrecks havoc upon the earth, and fosters materialism.

How counter such madness? How remain grounded, despite this maelstrom? How uncover the lies generated by the Dark Ones?

No easy task. This is war. Return to your spiritual disciplines, from whatever school, and practice them, especially meditation. Keep abreast with what is really happening. Be with like-minded people. For those desirous of Her dark nurturing presence, She will reveal Herself.

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