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The Fourth Way

A Poem in Appreciation of...
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This poem was 'channeled' by Cynthia Long of the Healing Divas for Nicoletta Manns. It expresses an acknowledgement of Nicoletta's work with Dr. Ross Laing over the course of 13 years, as well as an acknowledgement of Ross's wife, Andrea Cohen-Laing.
Even though this poem was originally meant for Ross and Andrea, Nicoletta wishes to extend her appreciation through this poem also to Fran and Dermot Grove-White for their countless hours of individual, couple and family sessions with the Manns/Bradshaw family, and to the "Fourth Way community" as a whole.

A FATHER'S HAND - Sept 2 06


As you may have noticed

I have always wanted

a father

a man in my life

who would teach me about love

by loving me

in a way that was safe

in a way that let me trust

in a dangerous world


I wanted someone strong enough

to let me cling

and then push them away

someone who would remain

in body and spirit

who would see the frightened child in me

and let her come out to play


I wanted someone who was willing

to participate in the making of me

the conceiving of me

the me

that would be a reflection

of what is good in him

what he has discovered in life

that is good in any one

in all of us

in any father

and his child


I wanted someone

who would teach me about being a woman

by showing me a different way

to be a man

that it was possible

that this love could be done

and on the other side

of so many heartbreaks

was a new land


I wanted a great deal

I asked for a great deal

I demanded what was mine

like the baby that cries

for her mother’s milk

as she reaches

for her father’s



And so I thank you

for all that you took on

with me

for all the learning

we have done together

for I know

I have taught you

just as you

have comforted me

I thank you

for your friendship

for your parenting

for your presence

as a man


I give you

in return

for these many gifts

an invitation

to see yourself

through new eyes

to value what you do

and the light you cast

by living

what you believe


I am the graduate

I am the sparrow

who flies the nest

and in this new place

that becomes my own

I will take you both with me

as family

of the soul


For no man

could become a father

without a mother

at his side

a woman ready

to love him deeply

and in all things

to be his guide

For even the wisest of men

must gather much of his wisdom

from the gender

to whom is given

the gift of birth

The one who has the grace to feel

how much our hearts ache

and yet still have the strength

to live in faith


When he breathes

he inhales her life force

and she gives it gladly

without asking

any price

This shows me

how one day I too will love

one day

I will in this way



In gratitude

and with pleasure

I invite you to the rest of my life


Let us be travellers


Let us continue

to talk

of Love


Andrea and Ross