Face North. Walk the length and draw the shape of the coastline. Pay attention to the texture of soil, sand and sediment. Be attentive to the smooth, uneven or jagged edges where the water meets land. Pay attention to the earth mounds you encounter along the way. Pay attention to the pathways, desire paths, fenced, barricaded, obstructed pathways that still bear the legible marks of peripatetic bodily imprints. Locate all the jetties on this island. One of them is said to be built on and with corals. One of them was used as a passageway for the dead who could not be buried on the island. Count the number of bridges and thresholds you cross today.

Remember the island cats, now long gone, and the spots they used to seek refuge in, the spots they found ease in. Locate the oldest trees on this island. Think of their root systems, held by soil. Think of mapping not just from the sky downwards but as an act that requires you to observe the unobservable.

The mud-eating, catacomb-creating Thalassina eats, digs and breathes into oxygen-poor ground. They are extremely selective with whom they show themselves to. They tunnel through marine alluvium, recycling nutrients from the deep underground, creating subterranean passages and co-habitable worlds for spiders, snakes, crabs, ants, shrimps, clams and worms. Described as master builders, farmers and architects, their understanding of soil systems and deep time within mangrove habitats extend as far back as the Miocene. What meaning in varying directions of time and space, has been attributed to soil, sand, earth and land? Across the archipelago there is a belief that one must touch soil with their lips, in order for the land to recognise you; a mutual acknowledgement that land, a living shapeshifting creature of deep time is ungovernable and resists modern concepts of sovereignty. What pragmatic prayers are uttered when moving earth, crossing water, eating soil to inhabit a new place? How attentive are we to the elusive unseen bodies, beings, organisms, ungovernable worlds inhabiting these sites?

There exists a belief that the auspiciousness of a location is determined by the colour, taste and smell of the soil; the evident appearance of life-sustaining, tart tasting, fragrant scented soil horizons. Make a list of all the colours and scents of soil you encounter today. What is your first memory of soil, earth, dirt, places where people refuse to step on because there’s no concrete? Scrape the dirt from the sole of your shoe, find a spot on the island to sprinkle it into the ground. Who truly has authority over this island? What pragmatic prayers are uttered as we move across this island or the broader network and constellation of land mass, sandbanks, partly submerged reefs scattered across the waters you cross?

Make a list of the names of all the watery spaces you have traversed, perhaps seeked refuge and found comfort in. Make a list of all the islands that have lost their names. Allow yourself to be led into the lifeworlds and peculiar habitats of these names.