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'Looking out' - Gaia Smith (Year 13)

You may not see me, but I see you. You may see a grey tint, a long scar, a dirty hand. But still not me. I see crisp leaves dancing in the wind. I see you waltzing your way through life.

I sat watching as the birds lay eggs and as they hatch into glamorous tuis, I still sat watching. I’ve seen seeds so tiny and grey sprout into trees with leaves of every colour. I have watched the plainest caterpillars grow into the most dazzling of butterflies. I see clouds spin, dance, and change in the sky above. However, I can’t even follow them, I can’t chase the birds or find bugs under rocks. I can merely watch as the cycle of life continues, unchanged by my touch or wisdom.

I’ve witnessed you grow from an idea to a reality, from a baby to an adult. I have watched you learn your ABC’s, watched you go from picture books to novels. I’ve watched you grow from centimetres to metres. I’ve seen you during the craziest moments and the tedious ones. Seen you change your skin from feathers to cotton. Watched your legs change for cars and planes, as you leave to follow your dreams and change the world. But unlike you, I can’t follow my dreams, because I don’t have any.

You may hear the wind, the tapping rain, the birds. But you will never hear me, nor my story. I hear the birds chat, the cars debate, the wind’s song. I hear students young and old, twitter, honk and rustle.

I hear the birds morning, day and night. I hear the rain as it spits and screams out to the world. I hear the trees grow leaves that shrivel and fly into the world. I hear the cars, bikes, and buses zooming by as the race against time begins. I hear the wind as it fights everything and everyone in its way for a shot at freedom. However, I will never experience the sounds’ feeling, just hear it like a shadow.

I eavesdrop on your morning, noon and night. I hear the teachers and how their words of wisdom affect a class full of life, happiness, and determination. I’ve heard you change from a crying mess to a hard-working adult, heard your decisions and choices. I hear your heart silent as it may be, pumping you full of life. Yet, I can never hear my heartbeat, my tears nor my breath, because I don’t have a body.

I feel the wind pushing against my face trying to go through me but I can’t fight back, I’m stuck in one place until I get replaced. I feel the sensation of your touch as you go to look out of me.

As the rain splatters on me, I sense it rolling down my face, dripping off my side. I’m gaining rips, cuts and scratches by trees extending trying to root themselves into my life. Me and the birds are in a constant game of tag with no real winners or losers. I feel snails climbing about my exterior, gliding down my body, sticking to my side.

You place your sticky, sweaty hands all over me, trying to escape into the large, free world. I feel you brush against my side as you walk by. It grounds me, makes me stop. I love it when you sneak close to me, slowly reaching through me quietly, you try not to make a sound because if you do you may be trapped between worlds stuck in time, like me.

You’re probably wondering what I am; how I can see but not follow, how I hear but not scream, how I can feel but not touch. I am two faced, who is stuck in motion, only placed to watch time fly by. Day after day I am the watcher, I wish I could tell you what I saw, how the birds communicate, how you learn, but I am unable. I see you everyday, I smile at you, I wave but you never see me, I am merely a surface you see every day.

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