Living with ghosts
A good friend, smart also, once told me I live with ghosts.
By ghosts he was referring to my childhood days.
But when a child is contented, the rest of life becomes a challenge because, as you know, this life is about learning and that though short, life is not perfect.
But I am here standing next to the hibiscus tree my daughter loved, on the beach of Lalomanu. As I look out to the haunting horizon, holding my head high, I think of the sleepless nights I have.
I think of how hard I am trying to use the windy day as protection for the noise inside my head. But no amount of soft sea breeze, white waves, tiny pigeons, and calm shores can stop a mother like me from hearing the melancholic sound of wailing children in the sea.
Weep not for the memories, a song sings, but though I have stopped crying, the loss of life on the beach has not. So I write to remember, that in dying so young, a child is always treasured. I do not speak of one child though she is the essence of my inspiration. I write for all children, in their small sufferings, and in their timid living. Why would children raise a hand against the oppressors of mankind, if they do not know yet what that means?
I heard of the news of ice melting in the north, and yes, the tsunami of it woke me in the middle of the night. I guess it is the fear of death that often envelops me. So I understand fully the need to re-evaluate what it is we do each day to help someone out. I also take in like a breath of life, the need to appreciate everything. But this is magical only if we have patience, for it is in our patience where we realize that everything happens for a reason.
The warmth inside one’s heart is the goal of this life, I have come to believe. Without it, we have nothing. Sorrow is a gift, sounds like cliché, sounds like something out of the movies, or the Bible even. But it is a messenger of joy, as is the yellow butterfly that I look for when I am in grief. The yellow butterfly is a reminder of my daughter’s free spirit. Isn’ the human spirit all that we are anyway?
Lately, I have been spending time with close friends and my ill-stricken of cancer sibling, who in every corner of the world is my idol. In fact, she is also my mother and grandmother combined in a blazing fire like a shooting star was her making. For all the heroic notions this world has taught me via school books, online readings and direct knowledge, my sister is the face of it all. But one cannot write with pride over such a painful journey, because a hero is not a hero without her ghosts.
So, if you have a pen, and you draw a line from when you were born, to where you stand now, stop a minute and appreciate your own story. I hope for your sake, you have lived it out truly. When you live your life truly, you will know that there would be a lot of crying too. But in all that living and swaying, somewhere out there, someone’s life is changing because you lived your story truthfully.
Meanwhile, as I live with my ghosts, I beckon the hearts of those I love to read me up in poetry, because when I too have gone, my truths are generously living in there.