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Serving the Village - Reflections of a Wannabe Poet

Schumacher College sustainable education and Sustainability Masters

Stephen J Adamson

If you're a frequent visitor to the Schumacher Blog you may have seen a piece I wrote a while ago called "Serving the Village: Reflections on being a volunteer". This was written late September, as I was approaching the end of week 4 of my time at the College.

As I sit here now (October 30th), approaching the end of week nine, it felt like the right time to offer a few more reflections. However, I decided not to write another long piece of prose, but instead to say something in the form of a poem.

The poem is my humble attempt to get to the bottom of four themes which have commanded my attention and energy over the past couple of months (and indeed, from what I can tell, many others too). The themes are: living in community; the personal journey; truth & authenticity; and love & human relationships.

The poem has been something of a 'labour of love' over the past few weeks, but it finally came together this past Monday, at the start of week nine, in the marvellous space which is the College library.

I hope that at least some of it may resonate for you too.

May you go with beauty, poise and grace.




Reflections of a Wannabe Poet


What does it take

to live skilfully in community ?

Patience; tolerance;

an ounce of humility ?

Perhaps all three,

and some other things too;

but of course it'll be different

for me and for you.


Perhaps it takes humour,

compassion or grace;

a capacity for silliness

and a willingness to face

one's light and one's shadow

mirrored, right back

on a daily basis

yes.. perhaps it takes that.




What does it take

to go on a journey ?

Courage; tenacity;

a big dose of certainty ?

Perhaps guarantees

of freedom from pain,

or the outside chance

of some spiritual gain.


It might take planning

and resources a-plenty,

and we may well resist

if our bank account's empty. But,

we must not hold back

when the Mystery moves us

lest the sheer joy of service

completely elude us !




What does it take

to stand in one's truth ?

On that edge of vulnerability,

naked, of necessity;

willing to speak out

and to bear one's soul,

to embrace deepest calling

before we're too old.


Perhaps it takes an invitation

an encouragement or two;

or for someone to say:

"please give me a window into the real you".

I really don't know

but it seems to be true

that when we speak from our essence

our beauty shines through.




What does it take

to love without fear;

to risk the rejection

of those we hold dear ?

To name the connection;

to say "I love you"...

Perhaps it takes faith

and some other things too.


Perhaps it takes sitting

in the spaces between,

allowing friendship to deepen

before we come clean.

Perhaps it takes nothing;

no action; no call.

Perhaps love unspoken

is the sweetest of all ?




Whatever it is

we are called to begin,

seems to me we must name it,

draw it out from within;

It will faithfully serve us

and nourish the heart

if we wrap it in gratitude,

and just make that start.




Anyway, listen;

thanks for your time.

Thanks for receiving these musings of mine...

I claim no special access

to the eternal divine.




In the final analysis

I'm sure it is true;

it's bound to be different

for me and for you.