“I was scared but I couldn't run away. I was rooted to the spot.”
The freshly turned mud in the field was red and baking in the sun. There was nothing else for miles - just the lone figure of a gnarled hollow tree there in the distance.
“I saw it out of the corner of my eye at first, but then I turned around and couldn't look away. It seemed to come out of nowhere.”
The twisted, sinewy branches were outstretched and beckoning her. Its leaves billowing and wild – like an old shirt on a scarecrow.
“I wanted to go over – to be brave enough to take a look and explore. But no one else saw it. I asked the others to look and come with me, but they wouldn't or couldn't. They carried on talking as if nothing was there. We walked away. But I knew what it was.”
She told me that this memory had been held within her, stored and locked away for many years. That it was never spoken about. But the desire was always there, burning away. The wild woman inside. A calling to be outside – to feel and be part of it. To see and explore what was really there. Until one day she heard a voice.
“Run towards the hollow trees, get inside, taste the mud in your mouth and rain on your face. Explore the world and the earth beneath your toes. Grow your roots in the earth and blossom.”
“Let me go, let me see!” she said.
This time she was ready. She wasn't scared. She climbed inside the old tree trunk and sat and listened to the whisper.
She has always been there. With her wizened leathery skin and bright blue spark in her eyes – no one really knows how old she is. You will find her in the hollow trees and the terracotta earth, in the ice wind that burns your face, in the cool spring water washing your grazed knees when you fall. She is happy and proud - covered in mud, playing and singing in the dirt and earth, the feel and taste of it gritty between her teeth. Those precious times when we are in her world.
“Go for it – be free, you are beautiful, what is there for you to worry about? You are home.”
Ice, Water, Steam
Ice, Water, Steam