Walking through the dappled breeze between the saplings, my path reveals a rock. It stands out from the grit and fine dust beneath my feet, obviously wanting to be noticed. I pause, the interlude a welcome respite from the salty efforts of the climb. He gestures to me, slowly inviting me closer. Shucking my pack, the hardy tufts of grass beside the path wink at me. I sit.
“..I’ve missed you…”
Absorbing his longing, I sigh, releasing my human guilt to sister susurration.
“..I’m so pleased to be with you. Again..”
The voice rumbles in the deepest fibres of my heart strumming the whale-shout across the world. My soul reverberates across my life.
“..I feel them all you know. Only two have felt me. You might be able to catch him…he just went by, in kudu skins, with a horse and spears.. Your hearts would do well to talk. But you were here long before him, last time…”
My sadness creeps up unexpectedly, tickling my eyes to water.
The laugh booms unexpectedly across the forest, startling a field mouse. I look at rock, confused “…I’ve lost a few pounds since we last talked….”
He shifts towards a giant Forest Alder.
“..See that baby? She’s part of me…”
Leaning back, he looks at the River Bushwillow sapling growing in his shade. He suddenly feels heavy.
“..That little one whom I helped birth got lost on her way. She should be down with water, with moss, with robin, not up here with us, with eagle and lammergeier…”. Silence.
“..But ant needs her, and she will feed them well…..”. He shakes in gentle laughter at the thought of father ant.
Raising my hand, I rest it on his side. Cool, rough, strong. I touch the centre of the earth, the heat, the power that comes from the endless interplay at our core. He is quiet.
Rising, I lay my soaked back against rock, tilting my head, gazing through the busy green train station of leaves above, blue sky waving beyond.
“Thank you“ I tell him. I am grateful for the rest he provides, for the shelter of the trees whom he holds in his larger scattered self. Without him, none would live. Like him, I have form. Water rushes over me, as him, neither of us absorbing it. Wind turns me red, wind turns him dark. Holding plants and feeding them he gifts me food, which I pass on to millions of tiny creatures who also find home in his greater self. Merged and mingled, we rest together.