Sailing through plenty of heartfelt attachment ensued by sinking in the sea of genuine loss, Sheryl lastly reached a shore of peace, the shore beyond attachment, on her 31st solitary birthday.
No. She wasn’t a philosopher as such. Infact not at all. She had blue glittering eyes and hair well curled like the waves of the sea wrapped among one another. Her mornings were inaugurated with a cup of black coffee and the sun peeking at her right through the white curtains with slightly golden patterns. The mayhem of the city couldn’t touch her even if they craved for. She lived in a big bungalow, bigger and gorgeous than you can ever imagine, enveloped by perfectly sized rectangles and circles of bushes and flowers on the sides. Everything about her was rich. Too much of a thing is not good, they say. And rightly so, she turned an addict. As much as the black coffee at 8 a.m sharp, she needed an extravagant trip to an exotic destination on her birthday each year. She was attached to the richness, the extraordinary pleasure. But then, it was time for the ruthless world to show up for her.
Her husband lost his business and they went bankrupt in just a couple of months. Time took a sudden reverse gear. The bigness of the bungalow, the all-time pleasant simper of the garden, the Polishness of walls, and the undisturbing comfort all left them, apart and broken. Sheryl trembled to feel the un-richness of things. Her survival turned into a mere struggle with detachment, for detachment. More unfortunately, her husband couldn’t handle it at all. His death left Sheryl with a significant absence.
A few months later…
Sheryl was strolling at an ordinary grocery shop one day, lost in her own world and down in the mouth when her eyes suddenly met with Pamela’s, an old good friend of hers. The sudden glance between the two eventually shifted to a conversation at the coffee shop nearby. Having learned about the recent adversities in Sheryl’s world that left her so hollow, so weak, Pamela felt for her. She wanted Sheryl to thrive over. And thrive in a new way, in a way Sheryl had lost a touch with.
Pamela was actively working with the Ella Austin Orphanage. She thought Sheryl could join too and asked her if she was ready for a visit to the Orphanage the next Sunday.
It wasn’t a thing of excitement or joy for Sheryl, unlike Pamela who came to pick her up with a bag filled with flowers and chocolates and her energy that brightened up the bright Sunday a little more.
But as they entered in, Sheryl could breathe an air that smelled different. She suddenly felt relaxed, as if all the gloom flew off her head somewhere into the distant space; as if her head weighed lesser. As they next entered the dormitory, children rushed towards them with such unconditional delight in their eyes and blossoming smiles that reminded Sheryl exactly of the flowers that used to wish her once, peeking through the windows in the sparkling daylight. There was an unawareness in them, of every other thing except themselves. A presence that lit up the entire space. She felt a little tightness in her skin as she smiled, willingly, after a long while.
She asked Pamela, how are they so happy with nothing?
They do not know what it feels to have everything, Sheryl. This is all they know, Pamela turned away with her bag of chocolates and flowers.
Stop the car – Sheryl abruptly woke up from her heavy thoughts as they were returning home after the visit. Can we go to the beach? – she asked.
Greenfield Beach? Are you sure? – Pamela asked her back, confused.
Sheryl – Yes. Please?
The roar of the nighttime tides was louder and harsher. The vastness of the sea touching the blue skin of the night sky somewhere in the far distance was, as if, waiting for Sheryl. Amid the roar, she felt at home.
“I used to come here with my Dad on my birthday every year when I was little. Here. Amid the twinkling stars and the gorgeous moonlight and the roaring waves playing with one another, I used to make a prayer. Today is my 31st birthday. And it amazes me how sailing through plenty of heartfelt attachment ensued by sinking in the sea of genuine loss, I reached this shore once again” – Sheryl rubbed the teardrop as it fell off her left cheek.
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