Let me begin by saying I know next to nothing about poetry. I don't know the types or correct stanzas etc. I know sometimes poems rhyme. They have a rhythm. And Lord knows, I choked through Chaucer in college. Maybe that is when I decided poetry wasn't for me and I was okay with it. I haven't studied the greatest poets, and I don't think the poem I am going to share is great. But it came out of me. And I want to share it.
Today, I just finished listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic and she really helped me to think about writing with the idea of creating for myself. That I shouldn't write with the intention of helping others but that in writing and sharing, others might connect and explore creativity (and other emotions) within themselves.
With both of those ideas being shared, I got heavy news tonight. News that made me sad. Thinking about it makes a lump in my throat. It's heavy. The news makes my eyes water. And my ears swell with pressure. But it also made me think. What new understanding am I gaining with this experience? What about my relationship with change? Why do I accept it? Why do I embrace it so much more than others?
Well, everyone has gifts they bring to the world. For some of us, the gifts are apparent. My dad has the powerful gift of affirmation. My mentor has the true gift of listening. My husband has the gift of being lighthearted and loving. The gift I came into this world with is resilience. It comes from practice but it also comes from embracing change. Moving with change so that I can help others in their journey. I remember hearing the phrase, "With the wind comes change." And so I went to write because writing makes me feel better, It helps me think and understand myself better.
And then this poem thing came out. So I will share it in it's imperfection:
If you, Wind, are Change, then I am the sail.
I stretch and embrace you,
I pull you, and use your force to guide me.
If I am the sail, then my heart is the boat.
Together we will journey, across the waters of life.
She brings on passengers, who we take with us to other lands.
New lands that help us discover that you, Wind, are not always scary.
You are joyful, and surprising.
Your swiftness guides us, gently at times, and speedy at others.
There are times, dear Wind, when you blow so hard,
A tear will appear on my body.
Before I can adjust myself, you gust and I rip open.
The gaping hole leaves me trembling and self-doubting.
Hard to navigate. Exhausted.
But then you are gone, and I am stagnant.
I am lost at sea. Unmoving. Waiting. Confused at times.
My heart waits too, rocking in rhythm of steady ocean below.
As we wait for your return we mend our spirits
And use the reflection from the ocean to help us gather our thoughts.
We dream of where you will take us, what new experiences you will bring us.
And it is in those moments of waiting when I feel you.
You brush up against me, a tickle, so soft it awakes me from my dreaming stupor.
And at first, I resist you. I wiggle and flap. I sway the boat, my heart turning with me.
Persistent, you surround me
All I know to do is envelop you.
I am taking you with me.
New passengers are coming soon.
My heart is calling them to wonder with us.
Patched, I am ready. Eager to travel, impatient to serve.
And together we will all journey.
Because you are coming. You always do.
So, I ask you...If the wind is change, then what are you? My poem, maybe not even a poem by poetry standards, but a poem none the less to me, is my way of exploring my relationship with change. I will edit it some more later. But for now it eases my heart. I know so many incredible things are coming.And that it is okay to breathe through the lump in my throat. And that my wind is bringing me to incredible new sights.
Brittany Courchesne is an early childhood educator, teacher mentor to teachers in training, public speaker, and blogger.