I was told, when still a child,
If ever lost in mountains wild,
To walk downhill until I found
Moisture in the stony ground,
And blaze a trail among the trees,
So those who sought
Might track with ease.
Once found moist earth, if I’d a tool,
Then I should dig till waters cool
Came bubbling up from a fresh spring,
But if I hadn’t thought to bring
A pocket knife or some such thing,
Then I should follow down the gully.
Eventually I’d reach a valley
Where there’d be a creek or river,
For what I would need most was water;
But also nestled in the valleys,
Or perched upon the banks of rivers,
Were homesteads, farms, and habitation.
What would be one’s jubilation,
When struggling down a dense ravine
To come across the welcome scene
Of farms and houses, cattle grazing?
One would feel one’s luck amazing
After struggling days on end
Down every gorge’s twist and bend,
With little sleep, and with no food,
And not much water, if one stood
Upon a pinnacle and gazed
Upon a scene where cattle grazed,
And farmers worked, and children played.
But one would still have to go on
Down the ravine, with the view gone
At times, to reach one’s goal;
But hope would lighten heart and soul.
The vision still would lie before,
The dream one strived and struggled for.
The dream, the hope, would give one strength,
However hard and great the length
Of the journey that one undertook
To reach the river, creek or brook,
To reach the dream, the goal, the haven,
To attain the prize, the heaven.
So it was in my own journey.
Before I reached my dream, my valley,
I was led down two blind gullies.
Faced with despair, hope only rallies
When one knows the trail one blazed
Will be seen. One’s hope is fazed
When one fears no searchers follow,
When one fears that on the morrow
One must travel on alone,
Find by oneself one’s own way home.
But as I dug in those blind gullies,
Springs welled up, and water bubbled,
Quenched my soul, and as the day dawned
I tried again. As the ravines turned,
I’d find another gorge to follow,
Fight through the scrub another morrow,
Always clinging by the water
(That is metaphor for laughter).
Eventually as dark was falling,
One night I heard the searchers calling.
They had followed, after all,
The trail I’d blazed on gum trees tall.
Down through the trees in darkening gloom
They pointed out the harsh way home.
In the valley far below
I saw a homestead’s lights aglow.
Through dark of night by lantern light,
My helpers led me safe from harm,
No more alone, secure and warm,
Towards the valley, to a haven,
Towards my dream, my goal, my heaven.