Sheree Bekker | Trust her

Some days a strong synchronicity lingers in the air. Asking to be acknowledged, waiting for us to quieten and listen closely. Yet, too often, we turn away from this voice…’too busy’, we say, in an attempt to numb the resident shame.

So when a teacher presents a lesson in honouring that voice, in the form of your own past self…well, just sometimes the moment is magical enough to stop you in your tracks. And then you know that this is life saying: ‘I am not fucking around here…it is time to listen’

My gorgeous sister (a teacher, & my teacher in all senses of the word) recently shared a profound gift with me in the form of my own muse & creativity & deepest self : a poem that eleven year old me wrote. I don’t remember writing it, although it feels incredibly familiar to me. I had already been thinking about writing poetry again in the week before she sent it to me, so to receive this message from my sister now…well, a meaningful coincidence indeed.

 

Mother Nature

Mother Nature, who are you? 

Where are you?

What do you do?

 

I am the Mother of nature

I am in all plants around the world

And I create new plants for you.

 

Mother Nature you must be wise

And very, very clever

To think of Honeysuckles, Pansies and Poppies

And creating wonderful trees.

 

Oh, I am wise and clever, o child

But you are clever too

But only I have the power to

Create all plants and trees.

You must use your brain

To help mankind too

And never waste your time or fret

And only try a million times until you get

Your wonderful idea right instead.

 

Oh, Mother Nature, you are so kind

To help me not forget,

I have a purpose on this earth

And I have only one life,

I must use it well

And help all mankind too

Then I shall teach my children

The wise lesson you have taught me

When they ask this:

 

Mother Nature, who are you?

Where are you?

What do you do?

 

Thank you, Mother Nature!

 

(11 year old me)

 

Poetry requires no explanation, yet I felt a strong urge to write a response to this poem from current twenty-nine year old me. Likely, a different future me will need a reminder of this muse, this intuition, too.

What struck me was how deeply feminist the poem was. Overtly in the juxtaposition between Mother Nature and Mankind, and the circular nature of eleven year old me and Mother Nature. But, mostly, feminist in this eleven year old girl who had a deep conviction that her brain – more than any other quality – has a purpose in this world…I had no idea how revolutionary that was, and remains.

Particularly poignant is the gift of failure hinted at in the poem:

And never waste your time or fret

And only try a million times until you get

Your wonderful idea right instead.

I needed this poem, this lesson, this gift this week. I needed myself this week. 2016 has been hard for so many reasons, for so many of us. That this poem arrived in this liminal space before the New Year feels beyond meaningful to me.

In the current climate I feel more strongly than ever the urgency of the need to listen to our selves and share our stories. Pre-teen and teen girls are so quickly socialised into a world that wants them to be smaller, in a million different ways. Pre-teen and teen boys are so quickly socialised into the hard cage that is masculinity. For us all, shame and vulnerability seep into our very beings…and all the other things become seemingly more important than that Thing…your Thing.

So we stop creating, and we stop sharing. Which is an utter tragedy.

Follow the synchronicity. Dive deep into the vulnerablility and trust the small but courageous voice that says be brave. Create things, share your story, make bad art. This world needs that, more than ever.

You are VAST and BRILLIANT: be THAT.

S