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Rowan Coleman: drawing on Emily Bronte

PUBLISHED: 13:27 16 April 2018

Emily Bronte influences Rowan this month (photo: MaskaRad, GettyImages)

Emily Bronte influences Rowan this month (photo: MaskaRad, GettyImages)


Rowan finds herself, at 47, still learning every day and shares a source of strength when the going gets tough

April is one of my most favourite months. It’s my birthday month, although it’s fair to say I find that a bit less thrilling than I used to, but it’s also the month that my twins were born. I remember when they were very small and newborn, looking at them laying side by side in their cot and really and truly struggling to get my head around the fact that there were two of them. Two tiny humans that I was charged with keeping alive AT THE SAME TIME. I won’t lie, it seemed quite daunting, it wasn’t as if I’d never done it before, they were my third and fourth children, but somehow the fact that there were two of them made me feel like a beginner all over again.

Six years on and when I look at my two funny, bright, crazy little boys, I can’t ever imagine life without them, of course. Like all new parents I learnt at the same time they did, and somehow as a family we all muddled through, putting our faith in love and a willingness to try.

Sometimes life does feel overwhelming. These days I like to think I’m pretty tough, pretty resilient, but even so sometimes there can be a collection of happenings of circumstances that make me think this is too hard. This is too much. I can’t deal with this.

That’s something that happens to all of us. It’s not a weakness or a flaw, it’s simply part of what makes us human, an in-built fragility that reminds us that perhaps our evolutionary process hasn’t quite kept up with all the complications that we have created for ourselves.

I’d like to have incontrovertible words of wisdom on this subject, advice that would be sure to see you through if this is how you are feeling, but I don’t. In this respect, despite my 47 years I’m still a child, still learning, still growing and hoping to understand more day by day, muddling through. But I do have a motto, a verse of poetry by Emily Bronte, that reminds me that courage and faith in something or someone are often the only two attributes we need to make it through.

No coward soul is mine

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere

I see Heaven’s glories shine

And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

So the next time you feel overwhelmed, scared, or feel like it’s all a bit much, do what I do and ask yourself, ‘what would Emily Bronte do?’


Best-selling novelist and mum-of-four Rowan Coleman shares the chaos and comedy of her life in the county



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