Do you feel as though your creativity has dried up and that you will never write another story or poem; never paint or sink your fingers into clay again? There is  good news. Your creativity has not disappeared. You are probably just exhausted from trying to be all things to all people; depleted by the buzyness of your daily life.

Often all it takes to get in touch with your creativity again, is to retreat for a short while to a space in which you can be still and replenish yourself. A place where you can be present to the sights and sounds around you.

Recently, I had the luxury of spending a weekend at Solitude, a retreat centre in the Midlands. We spent part of a day in silence; the only task being to focus on what we could see and hear in nature, which was all around us. And to record our experience in some form.

After tuning in carefuly to the sounds around me, I wrote the poem which follows.  I share it as an encouragement to all of you who want to write, or draw, or paint again, but who need the solitude and the space in which to do it. Claim that space.


Wind-fire, smokeless, spreading;

Leaves catch, not burning;

Doves, counting out hearbeats, incant in low voices,

Safe to love; safe to love;

A fly zooms around my head,

A halo of buzyness.

The wind hushes

A congregation of school-girl birds

Who chatter regardless.

In the trees voices rise,

The wind weaves a cradle of leaves,

Mothers rock their babies,

Low voices soothing.

The wind sniffs at my bare heels,

Wriggles up my body,

Through my fingers,

Into blades of grass shivering,

Their withered catherine wheel heads

Spinning in front of me.

A brown stalk with brittle leaves and

Little heads of long-dead flowers

Stands helpless, waiting for the wind to strip it,


Still the doves beat their drums,

Winter’s coming

Winter’s coming



A rooster crows his lordship

Over this kingdom

in which I sit, sated by nature,

on pine needles like bundles of straw.

Written by Juliette Jooste Gyure