Everything we feel is right there

One of those days of freedom, we creep off the trodden paths, searching our way to another place, a different sky.

We want to find the world where these days of perfection live forever - so we will never have to leave.

The forest is thick and steep and bites into our knees when we fall, and we are laughing, always laughing, and singing with the birds in the trees.

One time, Sophie slips right down a bank and tears holes in her hands, and no-one knows whether to laugh or cry - not even her.

She looks at her hands, at the bank, then at us.

''Ouch,'' is all she says, and we collapse in giggles.

We find swampland at the bottom of a gully, with trees that smell of herbal tea and sunny days, of life and love and laughter.

The ground is playing games with us, tricking us with shallow mud and deep, deep grassy holes; it turns us into clobbering muddy messy fools.

But it feels like another world, there in the marsh, and we walk in quiet wonder for a while.

We must look a strange lot, with our caked-on boots of mud, our grazes and our sunburnt, smiling skin.

It's no wonder the tomtits come to see the show, dancing on the branches and chirping up at us from the muddy floor.

The bellbirds play music in the wings.

On the other side, we skip across a maze of fallen mossy trees, never knowing which will hold and which will let us fall.

We hop our way on pointed toes, with a spin and a twirl and a leap.

''Look at me!''That's summer, fate tempter.

She balances outwards with her fingertips, one-footed on a branch thin as my arm.

One twitch and she trips, splosh, mud up to her hips, and we nearly go with her.

We all laugh so hard.

''People pay hundreds for a mud bath like this,'' she tells us, full of righteousness.

But even she can't keep the grin out of her voice.

Later, high up on a ridgeline, we look upwards, outwards, onwards.

We feel as if we can see forever, to the ends of the earth and the beginning of time.

We lean against each other in all our filthy glory.

We tell stories, our pasts and memories, our dreams of the future.

We can talk for hours, here.

The sun makes us sleepy, content, so happy.

We peter out into silence, watching the world from there on the moss.

It's getting darker now.

Red sun slants off majestic giants of alps.

A wind lifts leaves and dust and fairies out of the trees, brings them dancing in the clear air all around us.

''It's like forest dandruff,'' Dominic says with a laugh.

Looking out at the clouds, the blurred and scattered canvas of the skies.

We see the lagoon, its shining stillness, the power of it as it rushes to the glorious sea.

The world we are in is so beautiful, everything reachable; we never want to let it go.

But we know we have to go back.

Our journey home is a quiet one.

A strange electric energy fizzes through us.

We hear rustlings, moreporks hooting.

We glimpse eyes between the trees.

We pause often, hopeful, try to see the creatures fully.

Everything is so alive.

The stars are all around us.

I wonder, sometimes, how people ''survive'' without this.

We look up, outwards, then inwards, at each other.

Everything we feel is right there, in front of us.


By Torea Scott-Fyfe (Year 13, Queen's High School)



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