Because I am following you, a 6 year old, up the hill
We don’t travel on roads or gravel tracks.|
We grasp at roots and clumps of grass
And haul ourselves up the steepest slopes
Leaving no trace.
After our passing the trail is covered over
By swaying purple seed heads taller than you.
We don’t know where we have been
But know that we have stared into the faces
Of lions, tigers snakes leopards and cheetahs
In many a secret place.
Climbing up and up we touch Earth lightly.
Our movement history is a mystery to others.
But like a flicking fish or the narwhal drilling,
Or the submarine -shaped whale shark,
Keeping a steady pace
We travel with grace.
The best old folk know what it was like
To slide between trees without moving a leaf,
Run barefoot over gravel, camp in a cave,
Be travellers, messengers, scouts,
Moving, unnoticed from place to place
With unrecognised face.
When you are older, Tane,
An owner operator of the world,
And I no longer stumble behind you
Wondering which way you will go,
Still travel with grace,
From place to place
And leave no trace.
But for now let us both touch Earth lightly and with love,
As a blind child caresses her mother.
And, as we are clumsy, slow humans,
Let us, when we reach the mountain top,
Sing a hymn to Earth, there at the crater’s rim
Using carefully chosen words of thanks.