Dancing under fiery skies

As I prepared to dash out the door yesterday, already late for my appointment, I paused to grab a random handful of CDs for the car. One of them happened to be The verve’s ‘Urban Hymns’, an album I used to play a great deal but hadn’t heard for quite some time. 

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When the track ‘One Day‘ came on, it took me through a wormhole back to a very particular time that I will always associate with that song…the day I decided to tear my old life into confetti-sized pieces and start all over again. On that day, the same song had came on in the car as I was driving the winding country road to my daughter’s preschool in the next village, with the brightest morning sun shining over the expanse of fields to my left (funny how memory-triggers can be like  the key to a particular memory box, lifting the lid to reveal all of the contents down to the minutest details). I remember how I could see my three year old daughter in the rear view mirror, muffled up in warm coat and strapped into her car seat, so perfectly content in the morning sunshine; the stab of pain I felt at the thought of rocking her world. Fortunately, she couldn’t see me; I had hot and heavy tears rolling silently down my face as the enormity of where I was at – all just a scary concept the night before – came home to settle into the familiar routine of my day, blowing it to smithereens. In a few moments, I was going to speak softly to my daughter’s teacher, warning her about the months of upheaval that I could already see gathering like storm clouds. Then I would go home to dial the number of a solicitor that I had scribbled down on a piece of paper in my pocket… 

skies 4

Eleven years have passed since all that particular water went flowing under my bridge. A great deal more water, both torrent and stream, has followed where all that went and there are no regrets and nothing to mend in my landscape. Any weathering of my vista has only added to the beauty of it and so I love the way it looks, with expression lines and wrinkles that bespeak a lifetime of feeling and experiencing it all. Better, by far, than feeling trapped and afraid yet peculiarly numb – ‘too afraid to touch’ life in case I started to love it and so long for more of it than I felt I had free access to – in the way that I once did.

At the time, the words of this song offered me a hand reached down into the water to pull me ashore. More than that, they reminded me that there really was a shore and, not just any shore but, one with sand that held the warmth of the golden day just spent and (having coaxed every nerve-ending back to life), sand that I would be glad to feel press against sun-kissed skin as proof of the fact, under fiery evening skies that I could all too vividly imagine, having danced to dizzying exhaustion and dropped myself to the earth to gaze upwards into a molten pot of colour and the unlimited space of all possibility. In just a few lines, and with a case of ‘right words at exactly the right time’, it triggered stirrings of an alternate world full love, warmth and colour that I could hardly imagine from my place of shivery exhaustion feeling that, yes,  I’d been “swimming in the lonely sea with no company” for the longest, longest time. As I heard those words, tears began falling again…only they were the tears of release, of recognition and of the beginning of healing. I suspect it was the very moment when a new and expansive part of my journey began, like the first foot forwards after a crossroads. 

So, yes, helped along by those timely lyrics, I could start to taste it all; it was like the appetiser of a new and very different life beckoning me forwards, giving me the courage to tie myself to the mast and weather the storm ahead, because the storm was certainly coming but it would also end and then there was that shore, those skies and so much to feel coming up on the horizon and I never quite lost my sense of that, whatever else rocked my boat.

Message in a Bottle

This wormhole moment with this particular song is far from unique in my life-story; I could have written this post about a dozen others but it was this one, today, that got me thinking about them all. It sometimes feels like it is the very intricacy of these many intangible connections that thread my life together, like colourful ribbons woven back and forth around a maypole, that account for its very substance because they can feel more real than linear events. The lyrics of well-timed songs can speak out like a personal message, meant just for me, and I know I’m far from the only person who is sensitive to the phenomenon; you could say its a trait and, if so, its one shared by many.  For my own part, I guess I’ve always been open to ‘meaningful synchronicities’, seeing them whichever way I turn and, in that context, I’ve always been particularly open to music as one of many messengers that operate along the corridors of my life. 

This perspective has helped to feed a passionate love of music – an unlimited breadth of music – that seems to always know when to play for greatest effect; so much so that I listen to my collection of over 15,000 pieces on random ‘shuffle’ much of the time, enjoying the process of opening-up to the journey, letting the energy meet me where I am rather than going off in search of something I think ‘I want’ to hear in a much more cerebral way, especially when I’m in the creative flow and so completely opened up to all that unlimited potential. The synchronistic delivery of music in relation to what I’m painting, preoccupied with or needing to be reminded of at the time can be astounding in its accuracy.

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So here’s the thing…how I’ve come to regard it…what if that song, at that time, was a kind-of message in a bottle from me to myself? A note from future Self sent back along a timeline to earlier Self to encourage her along a particular route; delivering the life-line of reassurance that said “its going to be OK, come this way, you’ll love it over here and its so worth fronting-up to the storm that’s brewing”. Presupposing that linear time is all an illusion anyway, perhaps it was more of an elbow-nudge through dimensions but, whatever it was, it worked. I’ll never forget how that song reminded me of my own courage, my strength, at exactly the right moment…in a way that bespoke a deep knowing that my potential for both had already been realised, somewhere out there beyond time. 

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Below are the lyrics that were such a gift washed up on the shores of what felt like a wrecked life. No longer swimming alone, my present-day skies are gloriously fiery; they feed my art more than anything else in my world, something that only occurred to me this morning on hearing a song that I must have heard so many times over the years but (for some reason) gave me tingles today. So, perhaps today was the day that I reached a helping hand back in time to my earlier Self, to deliver that message full of colour and hope…and perhaps those fiery skies that I could see so clearly were the very ones that I’ve so recently come to know with my paintbrush, imprinted on my mind’s eye and sent back in time so I could see something of what lay waiting up ahead.

This begs the question, how much do we have the potential to rewrite whole timelines and elbow ourselves out of historic ruts that have been the sticking points of, not just one lifetime but, perhaps eons….? Its a mind-bender but so much fun to play with.

Whatever your viewpoint on the malleability of time, opening up to future Self – considering what it would be saying to you as you are now, from one of an array of ‘future’ perspectives – is one of the most powerful tools we have access to along life’s pathway and remaining open to how that Self might already be communicating to us…well, I’m just suggesting that an openness to this can deliver unexpected gifts in a variety of packaging! 


“One Day”


One day maybe we will dance again

Under fiery skies

One day maybe you will love again

Love that never dies


One day maybe you will see the land

Touch skin with sand

You’ve been swimming in the lonely sea

With no company


Oh, don’t you want to find?

Can’t you hear this beauty in life?

The roads, the highs, breaking up your life

Can’t you hear this beauty in life?


One day maybe you will cry again

Just like a child

You’ve gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend

And the storm will end


Oh, don’t you want to find?

Can’t you hear this beauty in life?

The times, the highs, breaking up your mind

Can’t you hear this beauty in life?


Oh, you’re too afraid to touch

Too afraid you’ll like it too much

The roads, the times, breaking up your mind

Can’t you hear this beauty in life?


One day maybe I will dance again

One day maybe I will love again

One day maybe we will dance again

You know you’ve gotta

Tie yourself to the mast my friend

And the storm will end

One day maybe you will love again

You’ve gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend

And the storm will end

Lyrics: Richard Ashcroft




About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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5 Responses to Dancing under fiery skies

  1. An interesting thought Helen, that the synchronicities we experience might be from a future version of our self – I notice synchronicities more then I ever did, but without having really thought beyond the fact that ‘the universe’ was sending me messages. But a future self, something to ponder on…


    • Helen White says:

      I love navigating by the map of synchonicities so am so glad to hear you’re finding them too, Andrea – its something I realise I’ve always done to some extent but made sense of much more through the work of Story Waters, who has made such a difference to my perspective (not because he’s told me anything I didnt already know but because it feels like he’s reminding me of all that I already did…) To me, its a sure sign of a broadening perspective and an awakening consciousness…especially once you start to play with the idea that you set up all those synchronicites yourself, as your eternal, multidimesnional, unlimited version of Self….like props you left lying about the place, intending for you to trip over them…so many ideas to play with 😉


  2. karinvandenbergh says:

    Hard to find any words to describe how I feel about this post Helen, but it touched me deeply. I don’t exactly why but I think this is one of my favorites. Is it because I share so much the same experience I have with music as being the synchronistic medium through which my spirit wants to communicate ? Or perhaps, the mind-boggling idea that yes, indeed and of course why not, some of these messages might have traveled across ‘time’ ? Anyway, as always your beautifully captivating, eloquent writing style has a way of making any of you posts to be ‘liked’. Thank you for sharing such profound and personal story. xxx


    • Helen White says:

      Love that you loved this Karin, I know how much music means to you and wondered if any of this would resonate…the idea of time-travelling messages through music is something I’ve been playing with, on some level, all my life as I started to notice very early on how it would transport me ‘wormhole fashion’ through time, how I literally couldn’t bear to listen to certain music at certain times but would love it at others..and the feeling that this was more than ‘reminding’, more a case of ‘contributing’ the energy of different time-points in my life to the mix of what was happening in linear time. The idea of a future message flowing backwards…that’s a fairly new addition but makes perfect sense to me now, explaining many things I’ve experienced (and many more to come, I’m sure) xx


      • karinvandenbergh says:

        Yes, I like the idea of “setting them up by your’Self’ ” and love the ‘wormhole experience’..totally get it!! ❤


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