It’s March 2012. I’m in an old fisherman’s cottage on a remote peninsula: Lamb’s Head in Kerry, Ireland.
Something needs to give. I’ve just left my office job – said goodbye to air con and neat desk rows. I want to be out there somewhere helping others experience the depth of connection I feel with the natural world.
But I’m stuck. Thoughts like “you don’t know anything!” plague my mind. I sit on an old sofa watching movie after movie, biting my nails, fidgeting.
Walking on the Head every day, I’m tormented. My conflict mirrored by heavy awkward strides. Today, I am nestled in a craggy dip, shielded from the wind as I look out at the scene below.
My gaze settles on the space in the centre of the photo, between two rocky outcrops. The sea swells as though inhaling deeply and water pours through the gap. It draws me in and in and in.
The more I look at this process, the more I see. I see that in this calm sea when water encounters a solid mass it always finds a way past. It cleaves round the rocks, staying close and meeting again on the other side. Or it pushes up and over their bulk smoothing their rough surfaces over millenia.
This ceaseless motion of the Atlantic sets my heart pounding. I can feel a commitment to forge ahead with my own vision begin to take root. A torrent of self-belief washes through me.
As I carry on looking, I realise that the actual water passing between the rocks at any given time is propelled through by the momentum of the vast ocean. It couldn’t be any other way. Ditto. I sense – not ‘think’ but sense from deep within me – that I too am not alone in my endeavours; there is a vastness holding me. The truth of this makes my eyes well up with relief and gratitude.
I thank the water and the rocks for their revelations and head back to the cottage, my steps now smooth and purposeful. Once through the door, ‘Earthwhisperer’ pours out of me onto huge paper sheets: colourful mind maps full of ideas and plans for offering ways to connect with our beautiful world.
As we immerse ourselves ever deeper into the nature that surrounds us, our surface thoughts loosen and the intuition that dwells in the body begins to awaken and guide us. It is this that leads us into a dynamic dance with our surroundings, where other beings – be they water, rock, earth-born creature – may reveal gifts rich with symbolic meaning for us.