It is true that the way is made by walking.
We put one foot in front of the other,
Feel our walking on the good earth,
Connect to what has birthed us at the first dawn.
But it is also true
That the way is made by others’ walking before us.
We don’t see that on the road
But then we lift the latch,
Slip through the gate and
That others have walked.
Cattle have been here
But human feet have flattened the grass
To make a rough path to follow.
They have left footprints in the coarse sand
Along the sea.
A few still linger in sight.
One stands on top of dark, volcanic rock
And looks out over a windy sea.
Another hooded figure walks slowly along the water,
Then leans over to choose a stone.
We walk on this beach, my friend and I.
Yet we are not the first pilgrims here.
The footsteps of thousands of others now washed to sea,
Their journeys have gone before ours began.
But their prayers remain,
Whirling around us like the wind,
As present as the fresh air we breathe in deeply,
As at the first dawn.
(c) Sheila N. McJilton
13 August, 2014