It looks almost like the picture in my mind, although I must admit there are some changes in its appearance now. That vast field is still the same where years ago they hosted exquisite ballets after ballets for my eyes to see. Even today I see the tradition going on; the breezy conductor still comes surging up the hill from the sea, blasting the musical rhythm into my very soul like it used to do when I was four-foot high and a tad too cheeky.
As if happy to see me again, the thousands of dancers rush out on to the vast circle stage, swaying their body in a hypnotic manner, reminding me of the essence and beauty of the nature and its talent of fine choreography, the whole place was flowing with formless beauty.
I used to be their admirer, standing amongst them with their velvet touch brushing my naked hands and even today they float around me as light as a feather, their arms reaching out to me, calling me back to their world. In love I too begin to swing with the song belonging to us only.
The music slows now and again pulling me back with it, and in my distorted vision I see the secret path, hidden amongst the dancing field, leading up and away, disappearing from my view. I know where it leads, to those gates which open up to my childhood paradise. I for a second forget about the performance around me. I can see the fine traces of the dusty path where my once small feet had tramped on, triggering the vaults of my memories to open, flooding me with an overwhelming sense of belonging.
The field’s feathery arms tug at me telling me to go ahead. I move slowly at first but the anxiety to hold the beautiful vision of that golden house in my eyes clenches me hard deep beneath. I start running as fast as I can, aided by the wind. The now overgrown field seemed to know where I am going and as if I have uttered the magical words ‘Open Sesame’ they part from my way, letting me go freely.
As I approach the dusty path all seems too familiar and knowing. My secret road I had carved all for me, it seems to have waited for my return, it is a symbol of that covert promise I had made when I had to leave, years ago. I follow it, trusting my friend; it is taking me back to my past, where tragedy and hardships were unknown to me, when I was free from all the bonds of life which now tie me down on the ground. It had enabled me to roam freely in my vast and private imagination that I used to live by.
I climb the hill, and a smile spreads across me, as homage to the sight of those wooden gates, which are to lead me, lead me up and away. Just then a mirror of my childhood comes running my way, “Nana, nana, its beautiful, and the house, its beautiful…” My Clare, my darling Clare, she is so much like me; I had forgotten that she had come with me today.
She ran right into my arms, hugging me so tight, “So my Clare likes the house?” I ask, removing the golden curls from her face so she can talk.
“Like it… I love it nana,” she looked at me with her blooming hazel eyes, “oh, can we live here Nana…”
I hugged her, “my darling,” but my angel, so anxious to talk.
“And I can do those entire things you used to do, we can dance in the field together, we can go walk on the beach, everything”
“Let’s go see the house huh?” I get hold of her hand and walk towards the waiting gates. The child keeps on talking but I am lost in a conversation to that secret voice calling me, “Laura, Laura, where are you…oh look at you Laura, darling have you been running around in the field again”, I used to drive my mum a bit crazy sometime, oh how I wish to see her again.
I step inside the house and tears come running into my eyes, I am finally home. I wipe my tears away while Clare leads me to her mum.
“Oh there you are Mum, I was starting to worry” giving a kiss, Isabel smiled, “Ben just called, the movers are there, I have to go back so are you two coming”.
“Oh no go ahead Izzy, I’m quite tired from the long walk, I’ll stay, take Clare with you, she must be hungry” I give Clare’s hand to her.
“I’ll bring you some food, sure you’ll be alright mum” and I just nod, “Come on Clare. Dad’s waiting at the house”.
I watch the two most precious jewels of life going away from me, and I get a sense of farewell lingering in my now heavy heart. I shake the feeling off and go back in, I want to go see every corner of the house but I am too tired to do that. So I‘ll just go to see my backyard, a place where I belong the most.
At the site my heart just sinks, every plant my mother had planted are dead, withered away. Only one has survived, my mother’s favourite, her mandarins. I can hear her say, “Laura, you be careful now, I do not want you damaging my precious mandarins, your Papa bought them for me”.
I go over, and lay there in its shade, it feels as if Mother is watching me…“don’t worry Mother your tree is safe” I can hear my self talk to her.
“Laura how would you like to go to the Market with me” Papa had said to me that day.
“Papa slow down…papa I can’t see, where are you…Papa, are you hurt?”
“Laura, look after your mother”…
“Papa, wake up, wake up Papa…Papa, Papa…we got to go home, Papa, Papa say something”.
Through the clouds, I can see him now, back all those years ago, “we’ve been waiting for you Laura, you came pretty late”. Then I knew where I was, everything was bright and I can see through the leaves, gazing down from the heavens, my Clare crying under the tree, Isabel hugging her. I too start to cry.
“They will be alright, darling” my mother holds me as I gaze down on my lifeless body.