Part -sprite and part-girl
I am eight years old: part-elf, part-sprite and part-girl.
But most often a creature of joy. Today in the garden, I delight in sun-burning my arms and legs a crisp brown.
I loop, swoop and whoop around swirling winds.
And yellowing leaves from tall trees.
The faster and further they float, the more I chase.
Are you impatient to know and savour unknown things as I am?
Do you too want to jump into the blue-green waves of the ocean?
Even as you revel in a single wave arching its back, curling around your ankle and then crashing on the sand?
Oh, the joy of my spirit
Oomna at 9
At nine, I set my lips in a straight line. I felt a black, black, black darkness… inside of me.
Why did I let this deep, dark, bitter sorrow take over my spirit?
“Don’t speak out of turn. Smile don’t guffaw. Lower your gaze, don’t make eye-contact. Act sedate not joyful,” I was told. Again and yet again.
So I held sadness within me. I let despair control me.
I learnt to quieten myself within the boundaries of un-worth, unease, shame and quiet.
Yet today at ten I am who I am. Back on the beat of revelry.
Who flipped the balance? Mira ma’am, my teacher.
After class, one day she buttonholed me. She asked questions. She listened.
“Find the joy within you. The crackling energy deep inside that no one can bind,” she urged.
Her words were just so much gibberish.
“Look at the gulmohar tree,” she said, pointing to the red, spreading, flowering tree outside the window.
“It draws its energy root up from the earth. Then it stretches, branches and leaves, and spreads breathless joy with its flaming red flowers.”
I understood. I rooted out my strength. The countless things that made me happy, whistling teapot steam joyful.
Be it sunshine. Drifting cottonwood seeds that float as fluffy white clouds. Books. Friends. My dog Masti.
Now I keep alive the thrill from them at the centre of my being, let its warmth gush in on me and allow its energy to run deep within me.
I push past terrors and believe in myself.
I live my life my way without fear of others. Or the flicker of their disappointment. Or the scorn of their reactions.
The colour of my joy is mine alone, not someone else’s dull hue.
I no longer act to please others. I act on what I want. I am who I am.
I touch, taste, see, smell, hear and breathe every moment. They are mine to claim, hold and share.
My double somersaulting days are back.
Want to photobomb your way into fun too? Smile inside out? Turn into an incurable optimist?