Oh what a dream I had last night. We were in a valley, my cousins and I, filled with sloping hills and grasslands that glistened in the sunlight. A clear-water beach sat just beyond them.
There was a house big enough for all of our families, yet small enough to feel cozy and keep us close within its walls. It had windows, this house, giant windows which reached the ceiling. I opened one as soon as I could, breathed in the sweet air, and listened to the wind. When I looked down, down into the valley at the grasses and the forests of trees, I saw they weren’t moving. My chin tilted upward, just a little, enough to see that it was the ocean I was hearing, with its crashing waves and foam that glittered as it hit the rocks. And I felt the breeze, the cool spray of salty water caressing my cheeks.
I looked out at the gorgeous land before me, where my cousins were playing. The little ones laughed and played as if nobody watched. The rays of the sun lit their faces and caught their hair. They danced in the light, in the warmth, as if the sun had her hold on them. I watched them, laughing with happiness, and I found myself reciting a poem under my breath.
𝐷𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑛… 𝐿𝑒𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑛 𝑑𝑎𝑟𝑘𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑢𝑡𝑦…
𝐷𝑜 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑡𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑛 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑒… 𝐿𝑒𝑡 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑎 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑏𝑜𝑑𝑦… 𝐿𝑒𝑡 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑛 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑏𝑟𝑢𝑠ℎ 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑜𝑛𝑒… 𝐴𝑛𝑑, 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑑𝑒… 𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑛… 𝐴𝑛𝑑, 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑑𝑒…..
I sighed, content and remembered the author: Avan Jogia.
I watched and watched. So many little ones. So many tiny bodies I’ve held in my arms. The children of my cousins. No, the children of my brothers. I called to them, to my childhood playmates, but it was only Gabe who came. We ran through the valley, into the arms of the sun and out of the shade. We chased each other through the tangle of forests and the trees until we stopped at a rock ledge that overlooked the sea. I felt the softness of the grass beneath my bare feet. The ocean was clear, clear enough so I could see all the way to the bottom, where the coral reefs rested. The rocks nearest to us were glittered with foam and wet earth.
What happened next was something strange. I looked to Gabe, who looked to me, and with a sweep of his hand, the patch of ground I was standing on suddenly came free. I was flying! I held tightly to the grass and dirt as the piece of earth flew down the steep slide with me on top of it. I was afraid, but Gabe called to me.
“I’ve got ya, Tay!”
Suddenly he was riding with me, and I was holding tig