‘What if I fall?
Oh, my darling,
what if you fly?’
When I was little, I would patiently lay in my bed at night, waiting for my mother to come & kiss me goodnight. Sometimes I had to wait for quite a while, as she sat with my brother or one of my sisters, talking about their day & the things they did or were planning to do. But I didn’t mind waiting. I would close my eyes & listen to the sound of her voice, the rhythm of their conversations. Even today, I remember clearly how the sound of it would fill me with the deepest sense of belonging.
When conversations were over, she would find her way to my bed & sit with me like she sat with them. Like she was never in a hurry, never had anything else to do, never eager to switch of our lights & start spending the sparse alone- time she had. She would listen, think along, we would laugh or cry, sometimes both. And always, at the end of it, she would lean over & she would kiss my forehead; sealing the day with a kiss.
Nine month she carried me through this world & since then, she carried me many many more. She might argue this, but I believe I owe her everything. For she is the one who gave & gives me space to discover, space to grow & more than anything, space to be. Not to be someone she wants me to be, not someone she had hoped to be, but merely space to be me.
Me; with all my oceans of not-knowing & my mountains of wondering. Me; with all my adolescence days of sadness & all my ‘grown-up’ days of searching. She gave me eyes to see this world, to be amazed & to be bewildered. She taught me to truly see, she gave me the will to understand & respect, gave me the intelligence to reconsider. She gave me my brother & my sisters. She gave me love & light & laughter. If it wasn’t for her, I would not appreciate everything for being something, wouldn’t know how to separate the bigger issues from the smaller ones & I would never have taken the time to shine a light on every possible version of myself. She was there & is there, every step on the way. A little further away these days, yet closer than ever, she sends me postcards full of conversation & provides me courage through the phone.
And in my mind, she still kisses my forehead each & every night. Sealing the day with a kiss. Making sure I may fall asleep, guarded by the luxury of her unconditional love.