Hazel and the Earthworm

She followed the path without question, as millions before her had done
Took pride in reaching each milestone, as she ticked them off one by one
She followed the line and rose upwards, strong, straight, steady and true
But slowly began to falter, as the next milestone vanished from view

She paused to gather her strength, then picked up the pace once more
Reaching up towards the canopy, as she had always done before
But the ground at her roots became boggy, churned to a deep sucking mud
The urge to go higher consumed her, though she began to doubt that she could

Energy spent, she grew still, though a voice said she must go on
We can’t stay here it whispered to her, we’ll be late if we don’t move along
Late for what? Asked a passing earthworm, who seemed able to read her mind
Late for the next milestone said she, though it’s proving hard to find

What’s a milestone? Asked the earthworm, as he frolicked in the mud at her feet
They’re markers I need to get to, so that my growth can be complete
The worm looked at her for a moment, before giving a shake of his head
I see no part of you that’s missing. Let’s find this milestone instead
Tell me what it look like? Is it tall, or square, or round?
Will we find it by looking straight up to the sky, or is it buried deep underground?

She sighed deep as despair weighed heavy, pushing her further down into the mud
She had no idea of the what or the where, though every branch of her screamed that she should
Deflated and tired she curled inwards, if she had eyes they would surely weep
Silent tears down into the earth, as she drifted to the deepest of sleeps

She slept through the coming seasons, through the rain, wind, sleet and snow
The earthworm steady beside her, as he witnessed her change and grow
First her leaves crisped and browned, drifted down, and her trunk gathered moss at its base
Her branches so bare she might have been dead, she withdrew from the skywards race

Then the warming kiss of a gentle spring breeze, breathed life to her being once more
She stirred with a newfound purpose, clarity dawning like never before
She embraced her natural beauty, fashioned a gown of leaves and buds
Let go of what she thought she knew, of all the musts and shoulds

In her sleep she had turned inwards, saw she was connected to more than herself
Her roots in the ground, spread all around, nourished her sisters and the Earth itself
It mattered not who grew the tallest, or who touched the sky with their leaves
It was the pattern below that mattered, intertwining as their tapestry weaves

She reached out to her sisters around her, gave them hope as she touched each bough
Her slumber revealed the answer, stillness had shown her the how
Each of us will grow different, she told them, we won’t all be the tallest tree
Our growth is not in milestones, but the fullest expression of who we can be

Now each tree stands shoulder to shoulder, no matter their width or height
Giving each other the love that they need as they soak in the sun’s warmth and light
She made it her mission from then onwards, to nourish each saplings soul
Each tree in the forest stood proud on its own, one part of a much bigger whole

And what of our friend the earthworm?
He lived out his days in the shade at her feet
Hazel never forgot the kindness he’d shown
Their friendship forever complete
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. If you’re new here why not click on the poetry menu in the sidebar to read more of my scribblings? You can enter your email to receive notifications every time I post. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter (I have a grand total of two posts on Twitter so far, but I’m up from one, that’s progress).

18 thoughts on “Hazel and the Earthworm

  1. I thought it was perfect….not too long at all. I love the message that we’re all connected and need to look inside ourselves for that universal connection. You are a very talented and insightful writer Rae. X

    Liked by 2 people

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