Friday, 30 December 2011

Earth Marks - What do we leave in our wake?

Today I walked through Abbey Fields, Kenilworth.
The sky was pale blue,
with the occasional cloud scudding across the wintry sun;
the wind stinging my cheeks,
 stirring the trees tops to a sea-like surge,
and rustling the crisp fallen leaves like milk
poured into a bowl of cornflakes.

As always I am fascinated by the multitude of footprints, 
paw marks, scuffs, and tyre tracks,
imprinted not just here but in so many places.

Soft sand beaches where our beautiful traces
are washed away with the tide, 
or muddy ground,
where they glisten damp, soft, and squelchy, or 
having baked, dried, or frozen,
ridge hard under our feet.

Even the unyielding pavements,
and town or city stone are not immune, 
the dark imprint of wet on dry appearing with the rain.

I am absorbed by thoughts of the many feet,
small and large, well shod or ill.
The feet that hurried or laboured on.
The wheels that have swished
or heavy pedalled along this particular spot of earth.

And what of the owners of those padded paws,
the feather dropped,
the claw marks where wings have come to rest?

In this place, - these Abbey Fields,
it's no hardship to remember feet from long ago
covering this same earth.
Monks and lay,
sacred or profane,
they too have come and gone.

It's not merely the physical trails we leave that fascinates me,
or our impact on the material environment.
I wonder what real impact we make;
what indelible mark our being here has?

What do we leave in our wake?

God Bless

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