Hiding places

Golden sunrays made their way through the canopy of the Brazilian rainforest near the little house where Desidéria lived. Of all the moments every day had to offer, Desidéria loved the early morning time most, as everything still felt pure and fresh then. She also loved the birdsong that heralded a new day with new opportunities. Today was no exception, and a squawking macaw that flew overhead put a big smile on her face as she stepped out the back door into her backyard. She stopped for a few moments to close her eyes and take in the sweet and earthy smell so typical of the rainforest. As she opened her eyes and looked around, she felt warmness in her heart in appreciation of what she called her ‘pequeno jardim do Éden’ (little garden of Eden). Her house and the land it stood on were not very large, but they were hers, and that felt good.

Meanwhile, some five kilometres away, young Ermenegildo steered his 4-wheel drive off the highway and hit the dirt track into the rainforest. Usually, this trip would find him in high spirits, but not this time. The quarrel he had had with Desidéria yesterday evening had left him feeling sad and hurt. Tears began to erupt from where they dwelled deep inside and flowed unashamedly down his cheeks, now that he was finally owning up to his feelings. Letting it all out as he continued driving, brought relief and before long, he was able to view what had taken place with great clarity. He understood that their age difference – he was 23 and she was 47- had nothing to do with it. What had caused their tempers to run high, was the fact that they were both unable to deal with the traumas of their past.

We all feel the pain of love from time to time, that’s true
Only love can lead us through these troubled days

From: ‘Last Chance’ by Level 42

Level 42 – Last Chance

Despite her age, Desidéria still looked young. With her shapely figure, supple chocolate brown skin, enchanting eyes and radiant smile she exuded pureness and a tremendously powerful feminine energy. It was this energy that captivated and at the same time daunted the men she met. Not Ermenegildo though. She sensed he was different from the moment that they first laid eyes on each other. He made no secret of his deep feelings for her, and yet, he did not go after her. This puzzled Desidéria, until one day when Ermenegildo told her about his past.


He was the only child of a loveless marriage between a wealthy land owner and a simple farmer’s daughter. His mother died suddenly when he was five and rumour had it that she had been poisoned by her husband, Ermenegildo’s father, but lack of evidence halted the police investigation. With his mother gone, Ermenegildo was at the mercy of his authoritarian and ruthless tyrant of a father, who not only took out his own childhood trauma on Ermenegildo by beating him regularly until he was eighteen, but on the rainforest that surrounded his property as well. Regularly, he would burn down large portions of rainforest while the authorities turned a blind eye. Luckily, Ermenegildo did not take after his father and he grew up to be a defender of those who were defenceless or who had been wronged in any way.

From the little Desidéria had told him, Ermenegildo knew she came from a poor family of eight, and that by the time she had turned fifteen, she began working in a brothel in the city to help her parents pay for the food on their table and the clothes on their backs. Thinking about this particular episode in Desidéria’s history made him red hot with anger. She had been beaten and raped countless times by the punters and the brothel owner. And for what reason? They were frustrated and insecure men who simply could not deal with the lack of fatherly love and acknowledgement during boyhood and therefore tried to make up for it by domineering others. No wonder that Desidéria had difficulty in opening up to and trusting people, especially men.

Ermenegildo’s train of thought led him to the reason for their quarrel. Because of his warm and gentle nature, he was one of the few men Desidéria had let into her life. Not that she fully trusted him, but she was getting there. That was until he began feeling insecure when she reacted differently to him during his visit yesterday morning. She was in a silent mood and he sensed very strongly that she needed some time on her own, but somehow he succumbed to his masculine instinct to take control of the situation. Although Desidéria knew deep down that he genuinely meant well, it sparked a deeply rooted apprehension and before they both realized what was happening, tempers flared up and combusted into a heated exchange of words meant for aggressors in the past.

George Benson – Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing

“Good morning Clara,” Desidéria said with a bright smile on her face to her sow who lay peacefully in the shade near the shed.
Clara grunted cheerfully in return, got up on her feet and trotted enthusiastically to Desidéria, who she considered to be her human mother. Desidéria’s face lit up with joy. She kneeled down in front of Clara and wrapped her arms around her. In no time, tears started pouring over her cheeks from the deep feeling of relief that this little heart-to-heart without words brought.
“Thank you, sweetie. I needed that.”
Clara replied without words by looking deep into Desidéria’s dark brown eyes. She was beckoning to Desidéria to walk with her through the vegetable patch and into the orchard.

As they walked, they started to speak telepathically. Desidéria told Clara how she longed for Ermenegildo and for a deeper connection with him.
“Your longing is actually a longing for a deeper connection with yourself,” Clara explained. “And in order to do this properly, you must come from your hiding places, my dear.”
Desidéria arched her eyebrows in curiosity.
“Hiding places?”
“Yes, the mannerisms that you started to adopt when you were a little girl and that you have made your own. They are a way of hiding from your traumas. If you really want to liberate yourself and connect with yourself on a deeper level, you will have to come from your hiding places and go through the pain that comes with the trauma.”
“Hmm,” Desidéria said ponderingly, “that makes sense.”
“It does, doesn’t it,” Clara replied with a contented grunt.
“It’s easier said than done though.”
Clara nodded.
“Yes, but do not fear your pain, as behind pain lies power. In your case, mostly feminine power.”

“The feminine is not exclusive to women, and the masculine is not reserved for men. All living things are spirits in a physical body, and whether the form of that body is feminine or masculine, it is always made up of both feminine and masculine energy. Once we go through our pain, our trauma dissipates and both of these energies become more balanced.”
Desidéria was quick to comprehend.
“And when the feminine and masculine become balanced in ourselves, they also become balanced in the world around us,” she concluded.
“Exactly,” Clara replied. “So, what are you going to do, Desidéria?”
Desidéria took a few moments to think it over and then answered.
“I am going to open myself up to whatever comes my way, and then see which experiences from the past that leads me to. I know this might hurt,” she said, sighing deeply, “but in the end it will strengthen me.”
“Yes, it will and above all, it will increase the feminine quality of receptivity. You will welcome all life with compassion and bear and nurture it.”
Desidéria smiled with tears welling up in her eyes as she felt love pouring from her heart.

João Bosco – Senhoras do Amazonas
Ermenegildo, who had only a few hundred meteres to go, was lost in the few memories he had left of his mother. In particular, he remembered the ritual they had shared every night just before he went to bed. They would place their right hand on subsequently their heart, forehead and tummy, and then chant the following: ‘I feel, I see, I am’. Then Ermenegildo would get into bed and his mother would kiss him lovingly on his forehead and whisper warmly: ‘Sleep tight, sweet Ermenegildo and always remember to listen and speak with your heart’. Although he sensed the truth in his mother’s words, he had never grasped their meaning until now. By crying himself through the pain only moments ago, he felt calm and balanced. He then saw that he needed to open himself up to life, in order to be whole in a trusting relationship with himself. This newly found knowledge made him smile from ear to ear and speed up the car. He could not wait to put this into practice.

Minutes later, Desidéria intuitively stopped walking and turned her head to see Ermenegildo pull up in front of her house. Her heart skipped a beat as she caught a glimpse of his beautiful smile.
“Ermenegildo,” she sighed and then she shouted: “Ermenegildo!”
“Go to him,” Clara grunted.
Desidéria did not hesitate and began to run towards Ermenegildo, who had jumped out of the car and was also running. In no time, they reached other and fell in each other’s arms. Laughing and crying at the same time, they kissed each other’s face repeatedly and squeezed each other tightly.
“I am deeply sorry,” Ermenegildo said as he looked into her eyes.
“I am sorry too,” Desidéria said.
They both laughed, sensing profoundly that no more words were needed, because a transformation had taken place. Here stood two individuals who had dared to venture from their hiding places and accepted with open hearts what would happen next. In the process, they had made it easier for humanity as a whole to do so too, thereby releasing personal and collective trauma and helping the feminine to have faith and come out of hiding.

“Come and join us,” Desidéria said softly while taking Ermenegildo by the hand. “Clara and I were about to go to the orchard and visit the bees.”
“I’d like that very much,” he replied, flashing his teeth in a big grin.
The closer the three of them came to the orchard, the louder the buzzing sound of the bees became, and before long, the first bees came into view. The active little creatures took no notice of them, for they knew that Clara, Desidéria and Ermenegildo meant no harm.
“Everyone and everything plays an important role in life,” Desidéria said with a contented smile on her face.
Ermenegildo and Clara said nothing and simply enjoyed the moment together with her.
“The bees work together to pollinate the different plants so that these may grow and provide us with food that we can eat to nourish our bodies with,” Desidéria continued to explain. “One day, I will transform this vegetable patch into a food forest based on permaculture. We will follow the bees’ example of collaboration and pollination. Just like the bees, we humans are not separate from the Earth but part of it. That means we will no longer try to control her but let us be guided by her, so that we can co-exist in peace with all living things and share the fruits that come from our combined efforts.”

That night, Desidéria fell asleep in Ermenegildo’s arms and drifted off into an extraordinary dream. A woman’s voice spoke warmly to her. Instantly, Desidéria recognized it to be that of the Earth Mother, even though she had never heard her speak before.
“My child, you have done well and I am very proud of you.”
Desidéria smiled while she felt her heart glowing.
“You have shown great courage today in being vulnerable and opening your heart to whatever may come. Continue doing so and you shall empower the feminine. No longer will humanity hold on to and try to sustain what it possesses, but let life flow as intended and continue to transform over and over again.”
“Thank you, Mother,” Desidéria whispered in awe, “I will do as you ask of me.”
“I know you will, Desidéria, and I wish you well. Remember that I am always here for you, should you need me.”
Desidéria nodded and then the Earth Mother disappeared as quickly as she had come.


When she woke up early the next morning, Desidéria was filled with a sense of purpose. She knew what her role was and was intent on playing it with great confidence and to the best of her ability. While Ermenegildo lay sleeping, she got out of bed and was about to go to the bathroom when she was distracted by the sound of a car pulling up in front of the house. Who could that be, she wondered and went over to the window. She looked down an much to her surprise, she saw Ermenegildo’s father, Augusto, step out of his car and walk to her front door.
“Who is it?” Ermenegildo asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“Your father.”
Ermenegildo jumped out of bed, put on his clothes and accompanied Desidéria, who was dressed in her bathrobe and slippers, downstairs to the front door.
“Good morning,” Desidéria said with a friendly smile as she opened the door.
“Good morning papai,” Ermenegildo said, standing beside her.
“Good morning,” Augusto greeted shyly in return.
“Come inside,” Desidéria said, stepping inside to let him pass.
“Thank you, I have something important to tell you,” he replied and followed them to the kitchen.

There the three of them sat at the table sipping at Desidéria’s freshly made coffee.
“Last night, your mother visited me in my dreams,” Augusto said, glancing at Ermenegildo. “Straight away, I begged her for forgiveness for mistreating her during our marriage, and without the slightest hesitation she forgave me.”
Ermenegildo began to feel sorry for his father when tears welled up in his eyes.
“You must know that it was she who administered the fatal dose of poison, but it was I who drove her to it. For that I am truly sorry.”
Ermenegildo nodded with a faint smile.
“Anyway, I asked her what I should do to make things right in this life. Her answer was that I was to help you, Desidéria, to fulfil your dream of creating a food forest. And so, I have decided to give you that beautiful plot of pristine rainforest adjoining your land.”
Desidéria’s mouth fell open and she jumped up from her chair, screaming for joy: “My food forest! I can’t believe it!”
Ermenegildo and Augusto laughed. Then they both got up and held each other tightly in a loving embrace.
“Thank you papai.”
Then Desidéria went up to Augusto, gently held his hands in hers and said: “Thank you papai.” Then she kissed him gently on his forehead and whispered: “I am so happy you have come out of hiding and emerged as your true self.”
“So am I, my daughter. So am I.”

“I was expecting you,” she said with a welcoming tone in her voice.
“I know,” he answered, smiling warmly at her.
“I missed you, you know,” she added.
“I missed you too.”
Then he stepped through the doorway, wrapped his arms around her and tenderly kissed her lips like never before.
And so, the Earth Mother and Earth Father were reunited once and for all.

For D. May you rest in peace X

Sergio Mendes – Esconjuros (hiding places)


Desidéria: Portuguese girl’s name, meaning ‘longing’
Ermenegildo: Portuguese boy’s name, meaning ‘immense tribute’
Augusto: Portuguese boy’s name, meaning ‘magnificent’
Pig: Connection with the Earth and Nature; intelligence; keen sense of smell; abundance; fertility, agriculture
Bee: Miracles; The wish for all living things to co-exist in peace and love; Pollination; Collaboration



More information on permaculture: https://permaculture.org/about/

‘Forest’ by FabricioMacedoPhotos on Pixabay
‘Woman’ by JacksonDavid on Pixabay
‘Pig’ by Peggy_Marco on Pixabay
‘Bees’ by TerriAnneAllen on Pixabay






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