The Secrets Of The Woods

‘Creativity is experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.’ Mary Lou Cook

Hello there,

At the beginning of the summer holidays I wanted to find something. Something I didn’t quite know how to explain. It was a connection that doesn’t exist in the world of plastic and expectations, judgements and small talk, lists and rules. I tried to explain to a friend as we were cycling home from our last yoga class before the break. I think I said something along the lines of ‘it’s a connection to something deeper, a spiritual connection with what is real, you know, the universe’.

BIG ask right there. I know!

Of course she knew, she’d just lent me the book Awakening To The Spirit World.

‘ … toward our reconnection with Nature, for Nature is, and forever has been, the gateway into the invisible worlds that are all around us. and all the time.’ ~ Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselmann, Awakening To The Spirit World. The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. 

I did get back in touch with it, the connection I was looking for during break. How? Actually it was quite easy. I followed the clues to find the path. And let me show you what happened. Here is a poem I published a few days ago.

Who will you be?

Today I wander the mother
She hurts, we weep, it’s time she says
Take my courage
Who will you be?
I choke with sorrow, her pain, my pain.

I held you as you grew, I hold you now
You are ready
The battle call no longer distant
Who will you be?
A surge of powerful tears.

I’ll be your armour
Will you be my grace
Brave enough to protect, or content to destroy
Who will I be?
I choose you, mother.

~ Frances Antonia, From the Woods Collection. The Netherlands. 2019.

It is not the poem that proves the connection, it is how the poem came about and it is the absolute ease with which I publish something that came from deep inside WITHOUT fear. The magic. Am I a poet? No. Have I ever studied poetry? Nope, never. It isn’t even something I remember at school. Not the ones I went to. Or maybe I wasn’t listening (more plausible). They lost me when I was shamed for not knowing a prayer by heart, truth. Do I know the rules of writing poetry? Also, no. I have zero ideas of the rules. Do I trust that it’s safe to put it out there? Yes. Yes I do. Do you know why? Because I’m not scared to be creative. Not in the way I live, not in the way I express myself, not in the way I role model living for my children. I don’t have any expectations for the poem, I don’t need to. For all I know it is shit! To find the magic, I just need to be unafraid to be creative, to try.

In fact I feel that strongly about being unafraid to try that I want to SCREAM from the rafters to my children  … PLEASE never be scared of trying kids. Of trying to live creatively, of playing with creativity and to seek a world and people who know where creativity lives. This will impact a lot of my parenting in the future … because to live creatively is to live without fear. It it to feel. It is the path into our intuition, our dreams and it is to be connected. Connected with the world in a way that goes beyond existing amongst only human kind. It is how we know there is more. It is trust. And it is lovely and joyful and sometimes it’s scary and painful, it is real. The only catch, and of course there is a catch – is no expectations. Trust that the reward comes in the form of living a connected life, a life well lived rather than one that is numb to what exists in the world beyond what humans have built.

“We are not separate from this Earth; we are a part of it, whether we fully feel it in our bodies yet or not.” ~ Sharon Blackie. If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman

A few times a week I do yoga in a hot room. I like to go to sweat it out and stretch in the heat. Frankly, my body with its aches and pains needs the heat. I find it a place to heal. Recently, I discovered that if I go early I can get a spot in the corner. From the corner I can see the sky through a small window near the ceiling. When I do my sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) I look towards the sky. I dedicate myself to the that sky. The same sky we all share. 


‘Whilst the Earth Mother finds immense comfort, safety and satisfaction in marriage, domesticity, growing food and children, and enjoys order around her, the Creative Rainbow Mother regularly feels the need to fly free. And if she can’t . . . well, the flip side of her is the Crazy Woman: depressed, unable to touch her power, tied, numb, self-medicating, addicted. Crazy Woman breaks out if we try to spend all our time out in the world, or serving others.’  ~ Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman

And thank you Sharon Blackie for this quote. This is why looking to the sky matters. It is a way to break free from the world. I think we need to break from the world to truly touch our creativity, to sometimes, fly free. To be in solitude with our creativity is not to be alone. It is only to ‘not’ be in the presence of human kind. It is to create some space for ourselves to connect with what matters most and it is where we can learn trust through feeling. Trust that there is something more vast, far greater and far more beautiful than the new modern world humans made. And it is here in my secape from the world where I found my way, my connection to what is real. This beautiful world of creativity and life beyond fear (of people).

The day after I found my sky window I set out on my daily walk. On this day I decided I would walk a different path. I am not sure why but I felt a strong pull to go in a different direction, towards North. And on this day I followed the pull, it was too strong not to (perhaps it was my experience with sky from the night before, I’d offered myself, trusted her). As soon as I stepped off my usual walking route it felt different. It was as though someone was singing to me. I felt I was walking where many had walked before. I knew immediately who she was. There was pain in her song. I believe she is in pain and I think she is worried for us (human kind). She being the mother. And I felt compelled to write and express not only her plea but also my promise. My promise to not be scared to battle for her, her life.

Along that path I cried. It was a deeply moving experience. I walked along the canal where soldiers had walked in the last big war and I let go of the fear I was carrying for others. I can’t carry it any longer. My grandad was a prisoner of that war, my mother born after his return home. I told him I loved him but if I was carrying his fear I needed to let it go. I needed to leave it here amongst the trees. Somehow in this plastic world we’ve forgotten we come from the DNA of many who have experienced lives we can’t possibly fathom. Do you ever wonder if we feel their pain? I think we do. More importantly, I think we can also let it go, when we get in touch with our creativity. Live creatively, with our hands in the dirt, the clay, the paint, the music. Whatever our soul calls for. And we need to be able to cry. I don’t normally cry in the forest, on this day I did and I know I was held. Held tighter than something we experience physically. The mother gave me courage that day. And as I left this spirited path guess who I would meet first. The heron, naturally and yes she is a clue.

This story needed to be written today because recently I had a conversation where I heard a judgement on the style of movies someone chooses. Like the books we read, does it matter? Is it not about what inspires us and where we are in our lives? Can’t we just be where we are and in our own place on our path without thinking we are more or less than others? it mattered that I found bravery and it’s timely for me to not be scared. I say this because next week I will re-enter the world after holidays and everyone has something to say. The world is filled with humans with loud opinions, expectations and burdens they wish for us to carry. You can be sure the school gate chatter won’t be about what magic they uncovered. Or maybe it will. I have two friends who are open the possibilities of the ‘more’ of creative living. The challenge, as always will be to know those kinds of opinion, judgement, burden shifting style of comments for what they are – creativity freedom crushers. Negative vibrations. Instillers of FEAR. And to be able to let them wash away without also becoming a negative viber. To fly free in order to continue to fight the good fight, to stand for something, to be true to myself. Thankfully, my connection with what is real has been cultivated this break. The joy of solitude and rituals that cement sturdy foundations. I want to continue stepping into this exciting and creative time. So I’ll need to mind myself as I continue to follow the clues and keep walking forward. Yes, this is the mythical and dream like space where I enjoy writing from and swimming in. It feels home to be here.



Ps I know I am breaking every ‘blogging’ rule by not replying you your beautiful comments last week. I will when I can do so with the time they deserve. Thank you, you all helped me with the direction in which my book needs to go.

Pps Women are amazing. Go seek each other out the ones like you, who ‘get’ you.


10 thoughts on “The Secrets Of The Woods”

  1. Thank you for sharing this Fran, it has really resonated with me. I’m at a place in my life where I’m looking for that very real connection, that spiritual, deep, honest and raw connection. I think it’s with myself, but also so much bigger than me. The quote from “If Women Rose Rooted” really spoke to me. Now I must read that book.
    This journey for me is so very tiring and draining, it’s getting harder to keep going but I can’t stop either. I can’t go back, not that I want to and here isn’t the end of the road either, so push on I must. I just hope that the breakthrough, the realisation is near because I’m so very tired.
    You have helped me so much, just by showing me that I’m not alone, there are others out who feel as I do.
    cheers Kate


    1. Hey Kate!

      I wonder did you read the book. It is a deep one, I have only dipped in and out. I am drawn to Sharon Blackie’s writing though.

      I get tired too. I was very tired after this writing. I can only now come back to these ideas and this part of me.

      I’ve found practicing yoga has been a real link into expressing and living comfortably within myself and where I am.

      I am so glad you found some meaning in my words Kate, it helps me too knowing that I’m not alone.

      F x


  2. There’s so much in this one.

    “I’m not scared to be creative” jumped out at me.

    Just before I read this I was thinking I’d like to write a blog post but I then instantly thought I’ve got nothing to say, my life is boring. Somehow I’ve let myself fall off the path of finding joy in expressing myself.

    Please keep following those paths and sharing about it – you’re inspiring me to join you.

    Annette xxxx

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Oh Annette I totally hear you re the thinking we are boring and have nothing to say. Your blog posts are never boring, life isn’t boring why have we come to this place of thinking that ‘ordinary’ is less than, not enough?
      Really I just wanted to say I’ve left insta and I miss seeing you and being reminded to look up and to appreciate the ordinary moments of life. It’s lovely to see you pop up here. 🤗
      Cheers Kate


    2. Aw dear friend Annette we all fall of the wagon … but we always find our way back. Often, the less I do, the more bored I become the stronger the desire to create something. Something has changed in the time I’ve been away (living). And when I come back it is with a new way or towards a new path. I liked this notion and I thing you wrote about recently in your most recent blog.

      ‘Blogging is an ongoing conversation with the internet. Single posts don’t contain all the information about a given topic. This is an incomplete, immature and tenuous process. I’m okay with that.

      My main goal in writing about stuff like this is sharing my experience. If something I share can spark a conversation, or lead to someone thinking about something from a new perspective, that’s brilliant. If not, this blog has always been about my wanderings, wonderings and words, and this is where I am right now.

      I am a novice. I will get things wrong. That’s part of growing.’

      We just become novices again … there’s something magical about that. And dear friend that is so far from boring! Ha well to me anyway. I love that you’re a mover, a grower, a story teller. And beyond those words above your writing about where your head is right now is fascinating stuff. I’m loving reading how things I feel can be so beautifully expressed. Again, SO far from boring.

      F xx


  3. Oh Fran what a beautiful blog – misty-eyed I was reading your writings … such expression from the heart … #RiseSisterRise (which means releasing the wise wild woman within) …


    1. Thank you lovely Paula. You always get me when I’ve really dug in. The wise woman within eh … she is finding her way. Sometimes I am scared of her you know. I think this is a transitional time and it will take some years. F xx


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