January 12th – The stone path through the woods led her nowhere
“But there is no road through the woods.”
– Rudyard Kipling, The Way Through The Woods
The trees either side of her closed in,
tunnel-like, making her breath echo
in the autumn morning. What light there was,
was shattered into pieces, and lay broken
on the ground, or balanced on the leaves
around her, unspent currency of day.
She trod carefully. Stones laid centuries before
were slippery with moss: mud sighed
under each measured step. With each year
this path she walked as a girl grew vaguer,
its edges swallowed by the hungry growth
of young trees fighting for the land.
Ahead, a fallen tree blocked her path;
she would have to turn back. Even a road
to nowhere couldn’t get her there.
Out there, somewhere, the sun was shining.
In here ferns grabbed spitefully at her ankles
as she left the path to fate.
Rain pattered down on to the canopy, catching on and dribbling along the leaves. Crystal clear droplets formed at the lush green point, slowly and rhythmically grew before dropping to the shaded ground below. The earth moistened, puddles form and foliage below eagerly enjoyed the water flowing over their tiny blades; and their roots drank deep from the dampened soil.
As we search in lower and lower, we focus on some of the tiniest flora in the wood. The small three-leafed clover covering the forest floor here. Yet look closer still, closer and closer, here is a single clover. We note immediately the three leaves, with minute but perfect droplets of fresh water and we sense rather than see the minuscule threads of roots spreading down and outwards securing the anonymous plant to its unique place on Earth.
Bursting from below we see the acid-green delicate stem pushing determinedly up. Straight it rises, yet quivering gently in the storm. It has precious little light above, but knows exactly which way the sun is, and thrusts itself as close to that fiery orb as it ever can reach, before majestically spreading small leaves, ready to capture as much sunlight as they can.
That brave stem! From the dampened earth it tries its hardest to breach the 150 million kilometres to the sun. Before the clover leaves emerge it manages …… three centimetres.
Today I wrote from 16:36 to 16:46. I was prompted by ideas here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here