The Path (a poem)

I can’t find the path
All I can see is snow
Tall thin trees crowd in, block me
Twigs catch at my coat
Ice conspires to slip me up
As does fear

I give up and find another path
One made of dirt
More grounded
It doesn’t go far
I scramble through and up and over
Discover human artefacts
Evidence of existence

I head back

I ask others about the path: Did they find it? Is it clear?
Oh yes, they all say
It is marked on the trees
Follow the trees, they say
I am baffled
I am determined

My inner child wakes and goes out to play
Mittens on, she craves snow
Wants to grab it, scrape it, mould it, taste it, hurl it

Curiosity and mirth lead her deeper into woods and snow
She spots the path immediately and follows it
Walking easily, firm-footed and adaptable
Her feet collaborate with snow and ice
Ancestral memories guide her
She goes far
Curiosity and joy guide her
She isn’t afraid
The path is easy and energising
The path gives
It is a new path

I couldn’t see the path, but she could
I didn’t know a path could be made of snow
I couldn’t conceive of it
So I couldn’t find it

I couldn’t see the path
Although it was there all along
It was a different kind of path
A new path
One I didn’t know existed
And now I do
It was there all along

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