I watched a little boy playing in the sand today. Waves toppled back and forth carelessly making the seaweed sway. I’ve come to prefer the tide as it moves away, taking the water with it. The world it makes visible is intoxicating. I think he thought so, too, as he bent to pick through the various bits of sand and stone and moss. His mother watched him, bundled up snug against the cold, her white skin radiant against the black of her hair, hat, and coat. When he spoke, she smiled, a bright white-tooth grin that made her eyes sparkle. I imagined those eyes were green, like the kelp clinging to her wellies. Joy emanated from her. She was happy, clearly. And, she loved this child. Clearly. My heart swelled.
The mother reminded me of my Western daughter. Their colouring, some mannerisms and height, similar. For a second I wondered if someday I might be watching her daughter, my granddaughter, searching for sea glass and fossils like this little boy was doing. It was a precious thought. I decided to hold it, keep it safe.
I’ve been in England thirteen months now. I am changed. Softer, wiser, less and more than when I arrived, I am happy I leapt off that cliff in 2015, but still ever so slightly apprehensive about where and how I will land. Immigration has not decided my case yet and although for all intents and purposes I am home, they might well decide otherwise. However, that bridge, as the saying goes, will be crossed if I come to it. I do not expect to, if truth be told. I hold to my dream.
As I watch the child and his beautiful mother, I wonder what their dreams will bring about for them. Before I leave them, I make a wish.
I wish that the sight of someone you love will always bring joy to your heart. To that end, let us find the courage to discard the foolish and petty differences that drive away joy and separate us. Let’s toss those differences into the sea and then gather shiny rocks, and colourful shells. They have a message for us. They bubble up from the sea to remind us about what really matters. They remind us that we are more the same than different. They share with us the dust of stars we cannot touch. And yet, we can touch them. Reach out and touch all those stars right there in front of you. Can you feel the joy?