Hello world :) This is a new beginning. It may only be me reading this, but I don't mind because the Universe is always listening!
So I will talk briefly about my first book which is coming out in the summer. It's called 'The Little Drop of Water' and it's an illustrated children's story book, following a day in the life of a drop of water. As I type, my wonderful illustrator Beidi Guo (or Betty as she likes to be called) is working on the final drawings. This is the first draft of the front cover, but it will be more detailed when it's finished.
Betty is a very talented illustrator/animator and I was drawn to her work (no pun intended!) when I first saw her images on her website. Having spoken to her today (for the first time), she was also very taken with the 'Little Drop' story when I emailed to her a few months ago. She had just been reading a book by the wonderful Alan Watts, so she was thinking about spiritual issues and then opens up her email to find my story. Another example of 'synchronicity'... The Universe found me a brilliant artist to work with!
The seeds for the ‘Little Drop of Water’ story were sown 30 years ago when I was doing my A-levels at school. As part of my English A-level we studied the poems of Philip Larkin and there was always something that captivated me about the last four lines of a poem called ‘Whitsunday Weddings’. The poem charts a journey of noisy urban life, through to the peace of a gently meandering river that reaches the sea.
‘And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.’
I loved the idea of the sea being ‘unfenced existence’. Like many people, I am very drawn to the sea or any patch of water, from river to lake. There is so much peace and mystery in the sea.
In my Geography A-level I learned about the water cycle, where water evaporates from the sea, condenses into water droplets to form clouds, then rains on the mountain top and eventually ends up in the sea again. The water was always water, in a closed loop, in the same way that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed into other forms of energy.
My third and final A-level was art, where I learned that I was not talented enough to draw the illustrations for a children’s book, but I did fall in love with the process of creating! I have been writing, creating businesses and inventing products ever since.
So those were the foundations, but why did this book get written 30 years later?
Back in September 2011, I was driving along in my car one day when without warning, something shifted in me and I felt what I can only describe in the language I grew up with, as the ‘presence of God’. Tears rolled down my cheeks - I felt deeply loved and cared for.
From that moment on, I have felt very different about my life and the world I thought I had been living in. With no previous religious beliefs (I was agnostic at best) or any spiritual practices, it was a massive shock to me and my family and five years on, I am only now starting to process and absorb what this ‘shift’ means for me and perhaps why it happened.
So last year, I suddenly felt this call to sit down at my computer to start writing this story about a Little Drop of Water. I didn’t know what I was going to write, except the story would start on the mountain top and finish in the sea. Two hours later, the story had flowed out of my fingers onto the screen and I have hardly edited it since it was written. It felt like a bit of ‘divine inspiration’.
I believe that deep down, every human being knows who and what they really are, which is so much more than our bodies, so much more than our thoughts. Not a separate thing in a universe of separate parts, but actually all part of One amazing thing.
No-one told me this when I was a child. I only remember being taught more and more words, which combined with traditional science, simply helped to chop the universe up into thousands of separate pieces, like creating an enormous jumbled up jigsaw.
However, my wish is that stories like ‘The Little Drop of Water’, can help trigger the memory of a deeply known truth and give readers of all ages a gentle nudge towards remembering that the jigsaw is indeed and has always been, all one piece.