the woman who carried a mountain inside her

I sit beside the waters and dream of stone. Hot, tangled stone that catches pieces of time and conceals them in its tiny, cobwebby caves underfoot. Stone that breeds forest, stone that sings. It sings over waters, through suburbs, like a lament for my absence. It wants me to go home.

Some places seem lonely, longing for human company. Or for in particular the company of those who hear their song and can sing it back to them in some form. Other places are more introverted. I have watched a vast mountain vanish on a cloudless day. And walking paths through the foothills beneath it, I've felt the grim reticence of an ancient stone spirit which would have preferred no human ever went that way again. I loved it, understood it - and  it did not care at all. It turned away, disappeared.

That mountain still haunts me, although not because it calls to me : I am in love with its silence and secrecy, and the fierce, tameless dreams it has of the sea, but I don't belong there. I have my own hill.

Next week, I am going to visit that home stone. It knows. It is like a cicada in my heart, promising, luring, calling me to hurry. I want to be there right now. I want to stay there forever. But honestly, I can never be entirely sure if it's me feeling that, or the old spell of the hill. For it got me, many decades ago. It took a bit of my soul and tucked it beneath the curve of a pohutukawa root, roofed with sunburned stone.

And in the place of that soul-bit, it left rock, dust, bee-hum, old broken wood, and longing : a piece of its own soul. I carry that with me always, where ever I go. I am part-mountain, in the suburbs.


  1. i understand being part mountain.
    i wish you a visit that feels good to you.

    this caught my heart:
    in particular the company of those who hear their song and can sing it back to them in some form

  2. Almost unbearably beautiful and a perfect sister piece to your writing from a few days ago about whether the land dreams us. Thank you so much for mirroring the depth of this connection to the land. Have a wonderful journey x

  3. Oh I feel these things too. You express themso perfectly.