Beginnings

The skies are as black as they get, allowing the stars and the lights on the boats to signal each other. Rain has begun to fall and the smell of the earth is wonderfully intoxicating. It’s one of those nights when sleep remains a dream.

There are some people who appear more. Whenever you meet them, you know instantaneously that there is something in their lives which drives them: something they find challenging, uplifting, beautiful, calming, worthy; something they love. I always wanted to be one of those people — someone who could climb a tall tower and throw themselves forth, certain of being caught by a canopy of wind, wind that would carry them forth unto skies unbound where they could know more than the world, just by gazing.

I was born in a home where waters broke the shore into a million possibilities, and the sky was a wondrous vantage point. I wanted to be one with that sky; so I befriended it, told it all my stories and prayed for it every day. I’d leave home before the sun had enough time to yawn and sit up in bed, only to watch it light up the face of the sky. It seemed to be caught in between all I could wish for and all I needed. For an odd 20 years, I stood by and watched, until I saw that same light pull away and the stars glimmer from new homes I found across mountains and marshlands. Although we both had changed, the sky I once knew embraced me like an old friend. It’s a mystery how some things become and some things don’t; I was gladdened by its becoming and knew I’d never again be alone.

The sky held tightly to the land I belonged to. They danced fervently, as I watched, fascinated by movements within and between them; they seemed to define everything they sustained. Lifestyles are often of landforms, and our cultures and meanings are of this earth. To understand landscapes and people and the relationships they share became me, and so I left the plains and began climbing. I knew what I was looking for, but not what I’d find. I wanted to love; to give myself time to fall madly and wholly and become of a place. I wanted to be able to see and understand the things that were easy to love as well as those that weren’t. To be allowed to experience lacklustre; to deride, critique, and still love. And so I went looking, to see what the sky saw, amidst the Blue Mountains and numerous lands beyond.

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