The Mistral by Hnia Usman, Fourth Year

Monday, May 09, 2016 KELS 0 Comments Category : ,

I have roamed the earth since time immemorial, slipping between the receding shadows at dawn,
flickering dimly in sunbeams that choke through forest canopies overhead. I have heard the wind sing
sweet and musical hymns, which taste of salt, by the sea, seen it roar with rage in its wild turns, ripping
out trees from their roots.

I have heard the sound of rust, gathering with age in places long forsaken, its soft metallic whisper
dissolving into the silence. I have seen loneliness, murky and misshapen, roaming unchecked in rooms
filled with people, where laughter rings loud through the air, and the high-pitched echoes bounce off
the walls, sounding strangely hollow.

I know of people with world-weary souls, their spirits worn away by feelings caged in, their tongues tired
of biting back retorts. I see men seek solace in things never meant for comfort; see them lean against
pillars that do not hold.

I watch quietly as people direct their wrath at loved ones; see the way they crumble under the weight of
dagger-words. I hear the unmistakable shatter of something break, never to be mended again. I look on
gravely as the ceaseless wait continues, seconds turning to minutes, the hours cycling into days, and
women continue to glance askance with hopeful eyes.

I see men with stone hearts, too set in their ways to take delight in a wee one’s babbling or melt at
tender caresses, light as feather-too far gone to be moved by love. I smell the bitterness and anger that
dwells in hearts, acrid and volatile, scalding everything in its path.

But as I stand at the edge of oblivion, I catch sight of lights flashing above, a kaleidoscope of hues that
descend across the inky sky, weaving and spinning into each other in a hypnotic dance. The stardust
cascades down and the horizon begins to glow, imperceptibly at first but gradually bathing the land in its
warm celestial radiance. And I remember.

Gushing rivers meandering into sprawling seas, ice-cold water in thawing streams where time stands
still, bubbling rapids that wash away regrets. I touch an impenetrable blue and watch it mirror the depth
of the galaxies.

I see quaint old cottages scattered across moors and perched upon cliff tops. I sense love; made tangible
by the dying embers in the fireplace, watch the amber light cast on a child marveling at a crude
plaything, the unspoken tenderness of a woman reaching for her mate’s hand. I witness something
being born as his fingers close around hers, her palm hidden in his, pulsating with warmth.

I hear the universe hold its breath as high notes of mirth bubble out, spontaneous and unscripted,
watch the sounds soak into the wooden floorboards for years to come. I see joy, pure and unbridled, run
rampant amongst kin. Among those who strain to listen to the undertones of the wind, who run free
without care among the tall grass and pause to look above at the skies.

I taste the freedom that forgiveness brings; remember the swift way the tightness in chests loosens all
at once, the hot outpouring of tears that binds people together into closer knots. I feel constellations
birthing, producing magnificent harmonies, when gentle smiles are exchanged and kind words are
gifted. I know the oceans stir when humility wins and resentment soundlessly surrenders.

I remember it all: the zesty magic of youth and the earthy wisdom of age, the subtle mystery in
moments that cause galaxies to shift, the sacred instants when lives are joined together, when one life
arrives whilst the flame of another is blown away, the beauty and pleasure that love contains, causing a
deep gnawing ache one minute and overwhelming bliss the next. I see the labyrinth that life is. The
inextricable web that keeps people tangled.

I cry uncontrollably. And I laugh without restraint.