The Gentle Heart of a Sorrow-Full Soul


There are some moments in life that are rare.

Rare and full of gold.

Some happen upon us. Others from seeking and searching. And there are gems that occur when generous souls, with their love and compassion, hold space and enable us to dive deeper into the crevices of our being.

Grow the Grown Ups 2017. One moonlight night. One stone circle. Two listening ears. One beating heart. One dancing desire, shared with my youngest, to sleep right here. Hello.


This journey of navigating my inner-landscape isn’t new. And I am realising isn’t just of this lifetime.

This journey of tuning into the whispers of my ancestors has long too played a steady, burgeoning role within my curiosity and enquiry. I am unsure whether it played one for my mother and grandmother however, my suspicion is both they and my aunts as well carried the secrets that have been begging to be heard.


One balmy Tuesday afternoon. One large group of men and women, handsome in spirit and courage. One one helluva rockin facilitator and a pathway into our calling. Us all, I do believe.

Joanna Watters, we meet again. It’s been two years since my family and I first attended the programme. Two years since we landed back in London trying to reintegrate into the incessant beat of the incessant city. Now two years on, myself and son and daughter, here again with your glorious team to indulge in love’s incessant request for us to be ourselves. In magic, in beauty and in wonder.


Love kissed her sweet lips on mine throughout the week. Reminded me of my ability, my prowess, my humility. I love YOU, she told me and, these days, thankfully I’m learning how to not shy away.

Kindness also, gentle and sweet, found her way, as I lay on the somehow maddening sloping floor of Centre Fire, whilst Joanna’s lilting voice guided each brave soul in it’s spacious walls into tender relaxation.

What feels like a lifetime ago in young-ness. What feels like innocent inquisition of 30-year-old child self. I used to try with all my might to crack open this dark nook inside.

I felt it in my earthing and, boy, did it make me feel cross. Tap. Tap. Tap. Bang. Bang. Bang.

I know you’re in there, craving to see light. I know there’s something. Rotten and raging. Blocking my way…..

Bang. Bang. Bang.

I’m not surprised now my fiery determination didn’t work. Such attack in my perseverance.

What the heck are you talking my friend?, you ask.

Well. Let me begin.

As I lay there that Tuesday afternoon, feeling into my rhythms and bones and meeting the gnarly rooting that runs upwards to the left of my spine, I asked myself this;

Who is wanting to be seen?

And with Joanna’s soft purr reminding us to allow love to illuminate the way, the twisted contorted root started to emerge into form. Yes. Really.

And here I bore witness, as form emerged into dimension, a woman. Old. Hunched. Heavy hearted. Wizened.

From somewhere I spoke, Hello and welcomed her into my presence.

Hello, Witch. I realised. Now I see who you have been. At last.

It was wonderful not to run. Not to hide her back from whence she came. To give her space, breathing space to simply be in my eyes.

And as time, which felt like days but most probably well a minute or just seconds, I realised that beneath her cloak of sadness, for she seemed so heavily sorrowful, there was something divine within.

Yes! Beneath where she had been cast. The mad one. The crazy and wild one. Insane and not of this world. Was in fact one wondrous beatific sensuous heart.


Her sorrow, I learned, was from this casting. Castigated because of her dance with the stars. Her prayer to the earth. Her knowing of the power within the bowels of love and the magic within the guts of the universe. And the scorn, mistrust and fear she was met with threw shadow and doubt within her own pulsing chambers. She ran from her wisdom and hid in the rain. Waiting. Wanting. And stirring the deepest grief and bewilderment she had ever known.

Whilst I hold space for this sacred being whom I have carried for so long, I see how my mother and grandmother had carried her too. I expect those before along my maternal line also knew her shape and voice and, somewhere, her persistent request to be seen.

I don’t know if my wide-eyed darling girl will inherit this lineage too but I do know this. Now I need no longer cower from her presence. This frightened old witch I will give instead the space to play, make merry and be seen in joy, in warmth and in love.

And, I think instead, she may in fact become our friend.


We will, Witch, Daughter and All, sleep in the stones once more.

I promise.

Image: Anne-Julie Aubry

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