Cloud Watching: A Poem for the Community Garden

by | Sep 24, 2023 | The Community Garden | 11 comments

It is with great joy that I share this writing and poem from one of our long-term community members, George Lamb. Not much introduction is needed, for as you’ll quickly learn as you read her writing and take in her beautiful photography, George is a shining gem: humble, sincere, devoted to her inner world, highly sensitive, and profoundly creative. Thank you, George, for sharing these sacred flowers from your soul in our community garden all the way from New Zealand :).


Looking back, I’ve always been deeply moved by the world, aware of life and death, and interested in what’s below the surface of everyday life. I remember being on holiday around age 10, sitting by the pool at this holiday home we had hired, and looking around at my family and just being struck that one day we wouldn’t be here anymore. I remember holding my Dad’s big, warm hand as we walked along the street and wondering what I would do without him. I remember sitting alone for hours, going through all of my Mum’s photo albums, wanting to know about the people’s lives and the stories behind them, about their hopes, dreams and fears. And more recently, I think about walking through the forest as the sun goes down and casts its golden rays through the leaves – how it stops me in my tracks and sends such a deep feeling of connectedness and awe through my body.

Before I found Sheryl’s work, these experiences didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and some could be really scary and odd, given that no one else seemed to talk about having them. But in one way or another, when we are open to it, something comes to us and is a portal for our growth and healing. As it was when I first came across the Conscious Transitions blog during a time in my life where I was experiencing some relationship anxiety. While the relationship anxiety faded through understanding more about myself, my experiences, and my emotions, it went deeper to the roots and became more of a general sense of anxiety about the future, uncertainty, and (when unchecked) my ‘career’ (a bit of a distraction from the root fears). As Sheryl’s work and the work of others taught me, this fear is truly archetypal and, although it is felt strongly by HSPs, comes naturally from living in this groundless existence full of question marks, losses, and unexpected joys.

Through understanding the HSP trait and seeing it so celebrated by Sheryl and others, I’ve been more able to use my experiences, lovely and challenging, for moments of growth. Feeling a sudden sense of loss and of time moving too fast when I hear a song from my early 20s reminds me to pause, breathe and say thank you for my life. Being stopped by the beauty of the sun gives me the chance to connect with nature, thank it and feel the spirit of life running through me. I started to feel my way into using creativity as an outlet when lines of poetry started popping into my head during the Break Free from Anxiety 9-month course (why does this happen? A wonderful mystery). When my friend Ali started a 52-week creativity challenge and wanted a buddy, it felt like this was a gift being given to me as a way to keep expressing myself and my feelings.

This poem I wrote in week 5 (I’m now on 34!) speaks to the themes of slowing down, growing a sense of trust, and letting life unfold. It is about how the clouds continue to swirl and change and reveal newness that we did not expect – and life is like that too. The way my parts have sought to protect me from uncertainty has been through list-making, controlling and planning, so this poem was about learning to stop and witness the unfurling with a sense of wonder rather than fear.

Thank you to everyone in this community, including Sheryl, who continue to support me to be myself. I hope you enjoy the poem.


#5 Cloud watching

Whatever happened to cloud watching?
To throwing your head back into the grass,
hair mingling with the daisies like Gaia herself,
to witness the wondrous transformation
from dinosaur to steam train to leaping lion.

Cloud-watching, the slow dripping of time,
like warm honey melting from a dipper
and meeting the grateful worktop.

Cloud-watching, ungraspable, groundless,
glimpses of meaning, puzzle pieces of sense
slotting into place for a moment, and then gone
as if, hands outstretched, questions posed,
you tried to grasp the water vapour itself.

Such decadent slowness, such riddlesome magic
the clouds throw matches on the gasoline
of our imagination, teach us that what we seek
will not be revealed through handheld devices,
through a list of instructions for joy, love, meaning
but by beholding the curious unfurling road.

While our wild, galloping questions,
the mysteries of our searching soul,
meet the comfort blanket of Google’s promises,
the clouds flutter overhead.

In a swirling, gliding, metamorphosis
of a thousand shapes, they wait patiently
for you to lift your head and, enchanted,
weave their clues into gold.


  1. Gorgeous poem and reflection, thank you George!!

    • Thank you, Rachel ❤️

  2. Beautiful….I am so grateful to Sheryl and thus community for helping me understand and put my feelings into words.
    I was interested to read your childhood experience George. I too used to be fascinated by photo albums (and still am) looking at the faces of my ancestors and feeling connected to these people I never actually met and thinking about the people who may one day look at pictures of me after I’m gone. These threads of connection weaving through time gave me such bittersweet feelings, I couldn’t verbalise this as a child but it felt big and important.
    Thank you for sharing…I am a prolific list writer and really need to practise slowing down!

    • Laura, you put it into words so well – ‘These threads of connection weaving through time gave me such bittersweet feelings, I couldn’t verbalise this as a child but it felt big and important.’ I love reading these words and thinking about the invisible connections that we are often told aren’t there in our very individualistic Western culture, but that HSPs feel strongly – and how it can be confusing when you are a child, or maybe you don’t really realise there is anything different about that until you get older or it isn’t received with understanding. I love the mystery of these connection and I love that, as a community, we can hold that for each other as we learn to feel the bittersweetness. Thank you so much for your comment, it is really lovely knowing there are others who get it and feel it 🥰 there is a song called ‘Begin Again’ by Nick Mulvey that is all about these connections, to people and land and animals, and a short video about the themes in it – I think you’d like it xx

  3. Lovely. I would personally LOVE to know more about George’s discoveries about list-making. I have tried and tried again to delete my lists (I have so many and in various places, various categories…) I’ve tried to trick my mind into not making them, but I always fall right back into creating more lists because I like being someone people can count on and I like being responsible. It’s not for others that I do this, it’s for me.

    This penchant for organization has always been extremely natural to me. At the same time, I recognize I’m too organized for my own good! Literally. It’s hurting me. I know I’m not focusing on my artistic and spiritual purposes due to my overwhelming to-do’s that take me away from what I REALLY want to be doing.

    I want to be organized but not to the extent that I am. I want to watch the clouds and know all is well.

    Who else has to actively avoid making to-do lists in order to be able to fully immerse themselves in their own lives? Any advice?

    • Hello Natalie 😊 Thank you for your comment – I will gladly share a few bits and pieces! The first thing that helped me was identifying my ‘list-maker’ as a part of me, recognising what triggered this part into action, and what it was trying to achieve – this helped me create some distance. I see that you have good insight into yours! For me, this part was trying to help me, but it was really triggered into action when I was trying to control something in my life. So, I recognise that lists can be very helpful and we need them to get many things done, but I was feeling like I needed to make a list when, for example, I felt out of control of my life and felt inadequate in some way. I would be writing down the same things and they didn’t need writing down as they lived in my head – like all sorts of books I felt I needed to read, or courses I needed to take (for my growth or to reach some sort of answer about my career). So it was the intention behind the lists, and it was fear-driven. Stopping to breathe into that feeling and get familiar with the part and maybe dialogue with it has been really useful for me.
      Another thing that has helped, other than trying to stop writing lists that aren’t needed, is recognising that we can make all the lists we like, but there will always be more things we could do and add to it, so we can never really make our ‘to-dos’ go away – it is just a part of a busy life. However, we can ask ourselves what would happen if we removed some things and whether we really want to do them or not, and who we are doing them for. I think that some things on our list are very helpful (pick up milk!) but others have a deeper reason for being created, and that’s worth exploring.
      A final point – I can see that you recognise the need for having a few hours or a day that isn’t driven by lists. I have found it helpful to set these days aside and actively seen where the day has taken me, not trying to achieve anything. Developing more trust in life (as you say ‘knowing all was well’) was helpful for reducing my fear-driven lists, and I did things like go off for a wander in nature without my phone or a plan to help grow this trust and flow.
      I hope that helped a little bit though – I definitely still find myself wanting to write lists but this part is slowly releasing its grip. I think you’ll find that the more you delve into your creative and spiritual life, the less you’ll feel a need for some of your lists. Thank you so much for the reply and for resonating with me – I can totally resonate with what you’ve said too. You are certainly not alone ❤️😊

  4. Wow, I loved reading this. It inspired me to take my kids outside to do cloud watching today <3 Thank you

    • Yay! I hope you saw some cool shapes, Ali! ❤️

  5. I absolutely LOVED this reflection and poem! Thank you George for writing it and thank you Sheryl for posting it here!

    • Thank you so much, Sarah ❤️ I’m glad you connected with it xxx


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