On this day, we enter
the invisible subterranean realms.
Stepping out of our civilised sphere
Into the wild dominion of this Land.
What is the impact of my presence
When I step off the path
into the tall grass among the trees?
How does the landscape respond?
Listen to the language of the forest:
If you don’t belong, the birds will cry alarm.
Enter Her domain with the skin of a snake
The nose of a dog
The tongue of a cat
The ears of a deer
And the eyes of an owl.
Moving further from the path
I am transported back – a child again
In a small haven of wild nature
My safe space, when my family wasn’t.
I go where I am invited – I know when I’m invited!
The plants themselves show me
How to wriggle my feet in amongst the stems
Treading delicately as an elephant
In my soft-souled shoes.
Entranced by the insect orchestra
– what key is this concerto in?
Sensitive to the solos of the birds.
Only one alarm, in the copse below my tent
The energy of outrage is marked…
But nothing to do with me.
My impact is one of interaction
I am in the egoless, thought-free space of an animal.
A sensory being, following invitations
With my doggy nose,
Tasting the scents on the air
With my feline tongue,
Sensing the prickles, the undulations, the wafting breezes
With my snake’s skin.
My owl’s eyes show me Vanessa,
Perched in the branches of an olive tree
And my heart swells with love.
Not human love, but nature’s love of her own.
And I understand:
Nature loves children – welcomes them
And plays with them.
When we re-enter our childhood’s instinctive knowing of her
We can walk here without fear.