The rope winds gently around my waist,
twisted, smoothly strong by years of mistakes,
trying again, doubt and wondering how.
Thick with memories of others who
believed with the strength of solid ground.
Believed that all earthquakes eventually stop shaking.
Believed in soil’s ability to grow what we need next.
The end of this rope was handed to me long ago.
A generous lifeline offered for free
to keep me on the planet.
Now I look down at the rope in my calloused hands,
threads of the millions, an explosion of frayed ends,
their forgivings, endurance,
the woven learnings of my ancestors.
The rope loops back and around me,
over and over,
then off into the distance.
I don’t need to see the end now
to trust it is anchored deeply somehow.
© Ali Grimshaw 2020
Inspired by William Stafford’s poem “The Way It Is”
Photo taken in on my last trip, Château de Suscinio in France.