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.