*Author’s note: This blog post was inspired by the discussion that we had on childhood innocence after reading the poem in class.*
We sat looking out of the window, her and I. Wonder illuminated her face as we watched the sun die. She turned and held my face gently in her little hands.
“Mummy,” she said, “why does the sky turn red when the sun sets?”
I took her soft hands in mine. The sunset cast a hazy gold halo around the room and I watched her face glow in the ebbing light; her blue eyes shining bright enough to dazzle stars; her perfectly formed lips all plump and rosy; the delicacy with which she spoke, as if every word was a gift under the tree at Christmas time. A love for this little girl, my daughter, swelled in my chest. A pride. A longing for her, even though she was sitting right next to me.
“Because the sun is bleeding, sweet heart.”
A look of confusion settled itself on her angelic little face. Her brow creased and I could see her trying to put the pieces together in her head. This confusion quickly faded into concern.
“Well, is he hurt?”
I couldn’t help but smile even wider at this.
“No, baby. He isn’t hurt at all–he bleeds for the moon. You see, the sun and the moon are in love with each other, but they can never be together; a long time ago, long before you were born, the moon was queen of the sky. It was her kingdom, and all of the stars where her subjects. The stars loved the moon, but so did the sun. He was always there, watching her from afar. He loved her more than he loved himself, loved her so much that every night when it was time for him to set, he would put on a show of lights and colours for her so that when she rose, the first thing she would see would be something beautiful. He bleeds crimson, and lilac and gold–every colour you could think of.”
Her eyes widened at this, and a beautiful smile enchanted her face. She leaned closer to me, as if she was going to tell me a secret.
“Every colour?” She whispered.
“Every colour,” I whispered back.
She grinned more widely at this. To her, every word that left my mouth was magic. Not the kind of magic where a rabbit is pulled out of a hat–the kind of magic that can only be seen and felt by those who truly believe in it. She leaned closer still, looking from side to side before she spoke again.
“Even pink?” Her voice was filled with a shy kind of hope, like she was afraid to even wish for it incase it was too good to be true.
“Even pink,” I told her.
She turned to look out of the window once more. Sure enough, and to her great excitement, the sky was blushing a gentle shade of magenta as the sun set further still. I watched her watching the play of lights and colours unfold before her. I have never felt a love greater than the one I felt then. A love that caused my breath to catch in my lungs, my heart aching from the warm happiness that lived in it.
“That’s amazing,” she breathed.
I pulled her into me then. A strange nostalgia floated about the room and settled like ashes in my hair. I wanted her to stay that way forever–filled with wonder and hope. But I knew that eventually she would lose the magic. I breathed in the smell of her hair, and stroked the back of her dimpled hand. She leaned into me heavily, her head resting on my shoulder, and I could feel her playing with the sleeve of my shirt absently. I placed a kiss on her forehead.
“Yes, my little darling. Yes it is.”