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A Message at Sea: by Seotsa ‘Soh’ Manyeli

Sometimes things come close, they stand and they embrace an inch of either direction of movement. They come close to the reality of not happening. They come close to the sea of thought that looks exactly like a desert of sand. But then I realize that whether it may be a sea of sand or a desert of water, there are sand dunes and waves that hide the bona fide of the leaves that fly high above them.

It must have been a dream that looked exactly like a picturesque of a child drawing with her tears that were filling empty the bucket of wisdom to the lost causes; it was a picture of a bird with a new mission that it wanted to fulfill. This bird in my dream wanted to change the cause of coming to the moving world and doing something different from the undertaking it had assured initially; it wanted a worthy assignment. It was a bird thinking the same song that sometimes things come close but not happen; and when they do come that close, they bring something special, a new awareness and perspective of life not lived. It was amazing that it was from a bird that so healing a thought could come; so nice a song and so humble the words could make me and so real the world could turn out to be. But I thought it humble still that I could see the beauty and bravery of this bird to test the cosmos by asking so noble and yet so practical a request. But it did and God thought He could not refuse so bold an appeal and He wondered about His own uniqueness as God whether He is allowed to alter the blue print of His nature.

I was looking at this image drawn by a child and every time she sketched it I thought it was going somewhere. But like a river it seemed to have a life of its own; and the story told by this girl was a remembrance of the story to the girl by the bird for they both had their own lives. I wondered again what the girl was doing for she also seemed to not make anything of this bird that was flying about in her drawing. She accepted still and felt that she might learn something from this bird after all, besides, she is a youthful girl of modest imagination; but the truth of her life is somewhere lost in the deep waters or bottomless shades of the desert, she could not tell. She put her brushes aside and let the tears fall without direction into the bucket and let the wind that moves the waves and the dunes direct the picture. Perhaps she might learn something after all.

The bird wanted to be a child.  It wanted to take the heart from its body and place it in the child so that the child could have its heart. Of all the things of creation, even more than the stars, it thought that children had more secrets for they have just left heaven and they transport messages from one harbor to another, one imagination to another. It wanted to know the secrets that have made others [a small number] so happy. It knew that those who have found the sacred sacrament of happiness must have found them in children. God couldn’t refuse so noble a request like that. Besides, the manner in which the bird spoke was so certain of itself when it enlightened God that it feels that its assignment will be more appropriate if it was doing something else. This made God decide to suspend for some time the continuation of the discussion and call from far and wide in the universe all the hosts that occupy the reflections of heaven itself. We were all there; so was the bird.

“I request permission to take my heart out and place it in something more responsive so that I may know the secrets of happiness”. The bird said.

The whole place grew quiet, even the tranquil that graces the waters of creation was not there. They were all in attendance of this bird that was challenging all the hosts of creation itself. It was not a time; nor a place; but it was a memory that was not flying with the wind time nor the distance leaf, but something never seen in heaven before or since. My heart was amazed and at the same time beating very fast but quiet still not to disturb the rhythm of what was on display. The whole universe was silent and still.

“What is more active than a bird according to you, the wind?” One of the hosts asks.

At that time I looked around with hope of seeing God but He was nowhere to be seen. Most of us there were souls who thought we were of great records and therefore enlightenment was ours.

“The wind is my soul mate for it is with it I soar high into the stars. I want to find the recipe of happiness so that I may know why people are not as content as they should. Furthermore, I know there is something minor that hinders them from finding their happiness. In most cases, things come so close to not happening and the memories of happiness that they left this place with, gets lost, I want to have it and make them rekindle that flame of laughter again”. The bird said with a clear loud voice that was full of confidence.

“Okay, you will be whatever you want to be. With your courage and charisma we know you are going to do a fine job” God said through the opening of a trumpet.

“I will always be a bird, I will always be You, and I will always beautify the roofs of this place with my laughter, my song. What I am going to do is to take my heart and place it somewhere so that the trust that people place in that area will be complete and I will make certain it never gets lost”.

After that we all set out to our purposes. But I was awed by the respect and admiration of this daring bird. But the words that kept ringing in my heart were “In most cases, things come so close to not happening and the memories of happiness that they left this place with, gets lost…” I thought that was true and somehow sad. But I was curious to know where the bird was going to place its heart. In the eyes of a child who was drawing this picture; there were more tears, more of them coming down her face and the crying was louder. But then she was so happy and so full of belief that I thought she knew exactly where the bird was going, yes, those tears were tears of joy. I thought it was going to place it in the heart of a child. In addition, children are true guardians of life, and pleasure, it makes sense to have the heart of a bird. With my wisdom how did I not think of that before?

When I got to my reside I asked everyone there whether they had seen a bird anywhere – that particular one. They told me that it flew into the desert and disappeared, some said it went into the land and probably turned into a lion, others mountains, and still others [so few though] said it flew into the heart of the universe itself. We were all waiting impatiently to see what had happened. And the child took her brushes as though she knew what we were experiencing in heaven.

She drew a desert that was in cry of a lost love. She drew a desert that was in want of something that came close to being. She drew a desert with desolate souls of humanity ending there – also with want of love. From that picture I could see the tears and the cries of life starting and ending in that desert. When she stepped back I saw a lot of cry from a desert that wanted to be an ocean again. When she stepped back I saw through the dunes of this desert and the moving of sand; I saw an endless colour of sound. I saw a colour of blue around, and at the bottom of something I could not distinguish at first; there was a heart. It was at the bottom of an ocean. I saw bottles of messages in the ocean being carried by the waters and transporting the love from one time to another, one universe to another, one life to another. I caught a glimpse of God. I observed the face of this girl looking at the picture and crying with joy that I had never seen in all the phases of time. I saw love; and I saw hope.

Even today, the heart of a small bird that once dared the heavens with its courage lies deep and silent at the bottom of the sea. I don’t know what sea is that. It lies there and all those whom we think perish in an ocean do not, but grace the presence of what they were seeking in this brave heart of a bird. “Sometimes things come close to not happening…” But then if we can acknowledge that the engine that stirs creation and love itself is the heart we will always find true. And the soul of God is one boundless ocean of love with His heart at the center. We will fly with them leaves above the waves and dunes; and probably if we are fortunate, we will never hide the originality of our existence. The sea is salty from the tears of a small girl; the waters of the sea are blue from the thought of love that is selfless and the colour of truth. Yes, it is true, sometimes things come close to not happening; and the memory of today gets missing among the waters of time. Let us pray that whatever gives meaning to your days; and probably mine does not get lost among the waves and dunes of deserted affairs of love in the movement of time.

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