Every year, you used to go to your faraway land. You didn't talk much about it, but I knew from the postcards and the magnets on your fridge that it had many seagulls and an ocean that homed all the lobsters in the world.
I didn't really know about seasons (in my land they all are very similar) but I knew that when the strawberries turned red, you would be back. I’d pick them from the garden and place them on your kitchen bench as a welcome gift.
I loved living next door to you. It allowed us to make up for the time you spent away. I used to visit almost every evening and read while you wrote letters (to your friends from the faraway land) sitting side by side at the “writing desk”.
In your house many things had a specific use. I particularly remember the special matches for the fireplace, but my favourite was always the “puzzle table”. On the weekends, my mum would let me stay the night and we would spend a long time there classifying puzzle pieces by colour or shape until we slowly brought together the image of a white wintery landscape, like the one you were escaping. The next morning you would mark my height on the pantry wall after eating a grapefruit using your special “grapefruit spoons”. You kept track of my growth as you did with my dad’s and your other children’s.
The day came when I finally got to see your faraway land. That summer I turned 7 and you took me to your favourite place to celebrate my birthday. We went to the old lighthouse and looked at the ocean. You stared at it as if it were your ancient friend while saying “Inside, there’s someone in charge of keeping the light shining.”
I saw the huge Atlantic waves crashing against the massive rocks on the shore, tasted the salty water that the cold roaring wind sprinkled on my face and felt an electrifying power echoing within.
We sat down in silence and looked at the horizon. I grabbed a beautiful marbled rock and decided to start a collection.
I’ve had many birthdays since that one.
My collection has grown.
The strawberries have turned red several times…
It’s been 10 years now since you undertook your last terrestrial flight.
Migrating birds navigate using celestial cues from the sun and stars.
You did it by simply becoming one with the light.