She sat at the back and they said she was shy.
She led from the front and they hated her pride.
They asked her advice and then questioned her guidance.
They branded her loud, then were shocked by her silence.
When she shared no ambition they said it was sad.
So she told them her dreams and they said she was mad.
They told her they’d listen, then covered their ears,
And gave her a hug while they laughed at her fears,
And she listened to all of it thinking she should,
Be the girl they told her to be best as she could.
But one day she asked what was best for herself,
Instead of trying to please everyone else,
So she walked to the forest and stood with the trees,
She heard the wind whisper and dance with the leaves.
She spoke to the willow, the elm and the pine,
And she told them what she’d been told time after time.
She told them she felt she was never enough,
She was either too little or far far too much,
Too loud or too quiet, too fierce or too weak,
Too wise or too foolish, too bold or too meek,
Then she found a small clearing surrounded by firs,
And she stopped…and she heard what the trees said to her.
And she sat there for hours not wanting to leave.
For the forest said nothing, it just let her breathe.
Poem by Becky Hemsley
Gorgeous painting called “Love for the Earth” by Lisete Alcalde