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Time measured

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In this place where the mountains meet the sea
time is measured in millennium
the slow sculpturing of billions of tides
rounding, shifting, and emptying the rocks
leaving caves and towering giants
standing watchers
who have seen the rise and fall of oceans over millions of years

time measured in a dry river bed – raising and dropping its floor
in the changing fortunes of the rainy season

time measured by towering trees
still standing watch
in the centre of cities
where buildings rise and fall
and people hurry from meeting, to office, to shop, to pick up the kids, to home, to evening jaunt

the time it takes grow a tree
to get hold of the plumber
to microwave the meal

time measured in the seconds  required to start the computer

the instant conversation across the planet
weaving a new web in a new space

this is the time my grandchildren chose to come into this world
closing their eyes under a tree in the garden
beneath the mountain
and waking in a shopping mall
bright lights, loud music, bustling people, trollies, flashing colours
and they are there with un-judging enthusiasm
for this is part of their world

my time is of two generations before they were born
I have  watched my children become parents
trees grow
river beds rise and fall
cliffs move
trees fall
buildings rise
and sand dunes stretch out to the sea

and now I watch these new children
born into a world holding seemingly limitless visions and concepts and possibilities
and the emergent recognition of the damage we inflict
on our evolving system

how hard will it be to hold in their hearts
the mountains that watch over them
the trees that embrace them between root and topmost twig
to stay rooted in the millennium it takes
to round a rock by the sea?

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