The burning embers of my heart-song have been smoldering all my life, just beneath the surface…. waiting for me.
“She’s a ‘Scouser,’” my Dad would proudly say, although my only claim to the name is being born at Liverpool hospital – a short ferry trip across the River Mersey to where my parents lived in Cheshire. When I was four years old we moved down South to Bedford and at eight we moved to Oxford and what was to be the family home until my parents passed away a few years ago.
North or South, I was a misfit, people would say ‘You’re not from here, are you?’ and I would try to adjust my accent according to the company I was in. From earliest memories, I had a sense of isolation and a yearning that was to be my constant silent companion. Walking by the river, I would muse away to my heart’s content and, there on the banks of the Thames, where Charles Hodgson (Lewis Caroll) wrote Alice In Wonderland, it was easy to ‘keep the magic alive’; I’m sure I once caught a glimpse of a white rabbit in a waistcoat running past, my silent companion and I smiled.
When I was nine years old, I had my first experience of ‘knowing’. Our cat Sooty made a happy transition from Bedford to Oxford and about a year after the move, I got off the school bus and was walking home when I suddenly felt very uneasy and a burning sensation in my belly. I ran home and shouted to Mum ‘Where’s Sooty?’ with no reply I looked around and said ‘Where is she?’ I could see Mum was fighting back the tears and I said ‘She’s not here, is she? I learned that Sooty had been hit and killed by a car.
In my mid-twenties, I Emigrated to Australia and the intense energy of this ancient land soon stirred up an even deeper yearning, opening the door to my sensitive awakening. For years, I danced between two worlds, deflecting comments such as ‘Strange people meditate’ and ‘It’s only placebo’, while my silent companion and I bathed in the comfort and solace of my ever-broadening awareness.
I now see clearly, how life itself has forged the path to my heart-song and fueled the fire of compassion that lay just beneath the surface. I thank my diligent, silent companion for keeping the embers burning and steering me to this place of mentor and advocate for Mental Health, to empower and support others in seeking personal and global positive change.
(Excerpt from my upcoming book ‘INSIDE, LOOKING OUT’ – my journey with Mental Health and Sensitive Awakening © All rights reserved)
There’s a fire in my soul that I can’t put out
A yearning so bright, it outshines the sun
From silent stirrings, risen to shout
The spark in my soul beckons me on
Smoke signals floating across starry skies
Dark charcoal script written firm on my brow
A glimpse here and there in a true friend’s eyes
Urging me forward but to where and how?
In childhood, the flames lit up the night
Taunting and fragmented shapes all around
Scorched yellow swirls, reaching great height
From the fire in my soul without any sound
I stoked up youth’s fire to keep it alight
A relentless reminder to give it my all
When the time comes to speak of truth’s light
And brighten the way for those answering the call
I succumb to the lure of the flickering flames
Embracing the strength that I had all along
To release the fear, torment, and blame
And dance in the fire that is my heart song
– Linda Gillan © 2016