“Mama, tell me a story?”

“Snuggle in, little one, and I will tell you the story of a dream. Close your eyes, so that you can see with your mind.”

“When you lay your head on your pillow each night, and your eyes are shut, a cherry tree grows beside your bed. No, no, it’s true. Close your eyes and see. See the long, beautiful branches that reach out like a canopy, protecting you? Pale white blossoms hang in bunches above your sleeping head, some drifting down to lay beside you. Breathe, and you can smell them. They rest in clusters on your blanket, on your pillow, a few stray petals in your hair. And one, one fortunate blossom lands near your lips. It tickles a sigh from you in your sleep, and your breath blows it up, like a bubble, bobbing on the night breeze. The wayward bloom floats in the darkness, climbing higher, and higher, until you and your cherry tree become as little specks.

The petal drifts up lazily through the atmosphere, beyond misty clouds, into the cool, clear silence of the night sky. The velvety blossom glows in the light of the moon, and still it climbs, higher, into a place where only stars live. The little petal shines brightly, reflecting the light of a million stars, each more brilliant than the next. Like bits of glass strewn with a joyful hand, the stars are scattered generously through the expanse of space. And then there are more, and more, and the little flower is lost among them. It becomes as much of a star as a flower can be… part of the galaxy, celestial, and indistinguishable. There is not a space that isn’t filled with the glory of the cosmos, and your petal is a diamond among them.

But, just when there isn’t an inch of darkness left to hold the magnificant light, the glorious display begins to ebb away… the stars fall back quietly, one by one. And the lone petal breaks communion with the constellations, drifting onward. Slowly meandering through a universe, far from it’s beginning, but closer now, to the end.

Soon, a point of space expands, becoming a place, unknown but not unfamiliar, and the petal draws downward. It weaves along the night breeze, blown this way and that, until finally, it settles on soft, loamy terra. The white blossom that traveled from another world on your sleepy sigh, that became one with the mighty stars if even for a moment, now finds purchase in this place. It sinks down, into the ground, and waits. And as another child’s eyes flutter into sleep, your wayward bloom becomes once again the cherry tree, which grows to carry the dreams of youth through the stars, to other worlds.”

Leaning down, she places a kiss on petal-soft hair.

“But I want to see it, Mama,” yawns the little voice.

“No, silly,” says Mama wisely. “You must dream it.”


Photo: his. Dream: my own.