Consultant and coach
Follow The Leader
I was always behind on walks
Always watching the arse of your trousers
Wink left then right, as I,
Sweating and breathless, wanted
Dock leaves, plasters and rest.
Vigorous, vivid and upright
You charted beaches, moors and gullies
Oblivious to all but arrival whilst I,
Stumbling and slow, followed
Silently in your wake.
I am older now and follow my own paths.
I wrote this poem some years ago and it is still unfinished. At that time the last line seemed confident –that with passing years comes wisdom, comes independence and freedom – the sense of being my own leader. But now I’m not so sure. As my physical mobility decreases with each year I become more conscious of roads not taken and of the reasons why. I know now that following your own paths and being your own leader does not come with age. It’s a continuous process of un-learning old myths told by others about what is possible and what is not. And it’s about changing old stories we tell ourselves that have lost their usefulness for the future we want to achieve. All of that takes time, takes personal courage and the support of others. So I’m still writing this poem. In some ways it’s the poem of my life. And I’m very curious to see where the next path will lead………
Hannah Reynolds is a community-based regeneration specialist and a coach on the Sync programme.