Mama.

Eyes sparkling with interest as millions of images dash across the screen. Those eyes catching each one as it dances away; not wanting to miss a single image. The eyes filled with excitement and wonder, but also a sense of sadness because the longing for these images will only ever be a dream.

“Mama. What’s that?” my beautiful little girl points at a image of a waterfall. A rare nature scene, one that I have not seen for many years.

“It’s called a waterfall, honey. Great amounts of water cascades over a hill of rock, spilling down over into a stream.” At least that’s what I remember at the age of six when my father told me.

“Have you ever seen one? Not on a screen. Were you able to touch it?” her magical eyes dancing with excitement knowing that this beautiful image is not just a fantasy.

“Yes, Honey. I saw it when I was a little bit younger than you. I stuck my hand into the downpour and it almost knocked me over. The water was warm and lite. It shimmered like the stars. I desperately wanted to dive into the water and submerge my being, so that I could listen to the noises underwater.” Remembering lost memories always have bitter sweet taste.

“Mama, in the future I will venture out into the world and find this beautiful snippet of nature!” she bounces up, taking up her normal explorer stance, and yells it into the air.

“Hush dear.” Checking around, hoping they did not hear her. “You remember the rules, we can look but we must be quiet about it.”

“Right. Sorry Mama.” She cuddle up beside my knee; then she continued to watch the images dance across the screen.

These small moments are what keep me going. These moments help me forget where we are and how our life has changed.

…12 years later…

A gush of wind stirs the dirt and grime into my mouth, “Eww, tastes like metal and dust.” I pull the bandanna up over my mouth again, because I will take not breathing before disgusting tastes. Sweat and mud mix over my skin; I probably look wild. Which is alright with me, I can’t be bothered.

The forest has become denser and the trees are closer than ever, “I’m close!” My pace picks up a bit. My steps are bigger. My heart is pounding…there…

It’s more beautiful than I ever imagined. It shines like crystals; continuously falling into a vast stream. I can barely see the top of the fall; I see the water spilling over the top, it seems to be spilling out of the heavens. The space around the waterfall is lush and green, small animals, bugs, and birds dashing over, in, and around the glistening water.

Standing in all the beauty I remember why…Setting my back-pack down I pull out the small screen which gave me dreams and wonders as a child. The now broken device, but it was stuck on the waterfall. “Mama…”

She has been gone nearly six years. She died in that place; she never got to explore the land of home. She gave me everything as a child. Love. Hopes. Dreams. Life. I am forever indebted to her. We lived in a small tent, on dirt ground, surrounded by hills of dirt. When she died I made it my mission to venture to the South, where all the images were from. Mama always talked about how she wanted to come back home and see the land that made her.

She is here; her love lives forever in my heart and soul. No matter where I journey she will relive all of it again with me.

I walk towards the waterfall, and just like her, I stretch my hand out into the water. The power behind the gushing water is impressive. I continue to inch forward until I stand firm under the fall, drench by the water. I slowly sink down and lay submerged. Its peaceful, yet chaotic. Losing consciousness I explode to the surface! I lay there floating in the pool of shimmering water. This place is like life…there’s always something trying to hold you under, but unless you dream and pursue what you want you will stay submerged. But if you fight back and live, like my mother, you will live fully and your dreams will never die.

I love you Mama!

South

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