Look Up!

Melie said to me once, ‘We always look down, we always seem to have our eyes downcast – do you think that’s because we need to watch our step? You know – in case of snakes?’

I think about this often when I walk, as I watch the path I tread, sometimes I see prints in the dust – a small cat, a buffalo, an elephant whose footfall leaves an indentation as wide as a dinner plate. Sometimes I see the skin sloughed from a snake, and occasionally I have seen the unmistakable pattern its slithering leaves, as if a child has drawn a pattern in soft talcy earth with a stone.

Today on my walk as I considered Melie’s words, I threw my head back to stretch a neck craned too long over a screen. I spread my arms wide as if I were about to fly and I looked up and saw a dart straight stripe across the sky drawn by a rare (these days) passing plane. It could have been marked with chalk using a ruler, it was so straight.

As I watched the wind tugged it so that it began to lose definition, loosen. And the longer I watched, so it was frayed, like a rope with age.

And whilst I watched I saw that the Erythrina had begun to lose its hot blush as it dropped crimson blossom and I saw the clouds clear from Kilimanjaro’s crown so that the mountain stared icily down.

I stood and I watched that beautiful big sky with its ribbons of tight white until they’d become quite undone and vanished altogether.

‘Look up, Mum’, Melie said, so I did. I looked up.

And see what I saw.

4 Responses to “Look Up!”

  1. TatuMbili Says:

    Thank you. I cried. I will look up.

  2. Leilani Weatherington Says:

    One time I was walking near 2 women in the park. They were looking down, and I was looking up. A bald eagle flew overhead, which is unusual here, and they totally missed it. Whether we look up or down often depends on what might be underfoot!

  3. Lydia Says:

    You write beautifully, I’m glad to have found your blog. Here is a song that your post reminded me of – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NAYz0zh_Es

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