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Esme and the Turning Wheel

During my recent course training to be an NLP practitioner, we had great fun writing Artful Metaphors utilising Milton Ericksons language patterns to engage the unconscious mind. I would like to share with you the story of Esme and the Turning Wheel.



Esme stood looking at her cottage that sat comfortably before her. She had coveted this cottage since childhood when her and her siblings had spent summers swimming in the ocean. They didn’t do that anymore. Her siblings had grown up and summers were spent with immediate families, children, grandchildren, sometimes tropical locations. But still, Esme always felt grounded back here and she had finally brought this cottage, perched on the ocean shore. It was hers.


Everyone knew that being close to the ocean increased wellness. Beside her, sat patiently, her trusty dog Thistle – eagerly ready for the next adventure that awaits. The garden was gorgeous, especially at this time of year, although maybe a little overgrown. A stream ran through the West side of the property, flowing into the ocean.


In that stream, lived a big, old, heavy, wooden wheel. You know the one I’m talking about. This wheel turned with the movement of the stream, picking up bright green leaves from the surface of the water, lifting them up, higher and higher, carrying them, embracing them. Cupped safely in the prongs until they joined the flowing stream again on their journey to the ocean.


Esme loved this wheel. And especially loved sitting, watching it turn, watching the process. It calmed her, while filling her with deep peace and strength, just like the wheel.


Today, as the sun reached its fingers through the overgrown jasmine, teasing the buttercups to dance with the clover in the cool breeze, Esme noticed something different. As Thistle noticed her curiosity, she turned her head. The wheel was slowly rotating in the opposite direction. As the tide of the ocean changed, pushing its salty waves up the stream, the ocean and the stream were blending, swirling, together, upwards, towards the wheel. The strength of their weave allowed the wheel to comfortably turn the other way. Opening the underside of its slightly green prongs to the sunshine.


The prongs today, lifted white petals, floating on on the fluidity of the water, then cupped by the prongs of the wheel to take them upward higher and higher to the other side of the wheel to play with the green leaves upstream.


Esme laughed at the beauty and perfection of their movements and Thistle jumped in the stream. Splashing sparkling droplets through the air. She lay down and basked in sharing the warmth of the suns caress in this wonderful world.


Jordan Shearer


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