An Undying Whisper of Hope

Mariam - Mason, Ohio
Entered on April 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Through autumn-kissed sunshine to wintry trees scraping the sky, I had always found tranquility. Racing with the wind, my scarf would tug onto nearby branches as my friend Anum and I raced towards the sound of water humming like delicate wind chimes. As we hesitantly dipped the tips of our fingers into the captivating coolness. we believed that we could bloom. We believe. With our bare feet dangling over the water’s mossy edge, our laughter accompanied the rhythm of the wind. Our passion was to bloom above the diamond stars gemmed into the sky.

Some say potential is obtained by fame through our contribution to the growing success in our world. I say that potential can be grasped through passion as we grow as unique individuals. Genuine potential is found through reaching our hearts to the world. Lighting pathways with an everlasting light of hope.

My grandmother braided my hair each morning as I shared my dreams. The more the whisper in my yearning heart grew, the more fiercely the flower bloomed. “Nani, I want to become a teacher, a writer. I want to discover.” The braid roped down my back grew tighter. My family comes from successful people–doctors and engineers. The silence prolonging between us was soon interrupted by a faint laughter. “As you wish, beta,” my grandmother muttered lightly as my braid flew from her hands. When she wasn’t watching, I loosened the braid. Through determination I always believed I was a rebel. But deep down, I knew that I was only blooming into a dreamer. A dreamer who wished to solidify her imaginations.

One summer, I held an injured bird in my hands. My heart crumpled with pain as I watched her muffled wings perpetually close. I remember my tears flowed like an open wound–erupting without thought, without wisdom, without control. As her warm chest painfully vibrated against the protection of my fingers, I remember the confusion and sorrow I felt. Even at the age of 15, I never imagined that a bird could die. They were born to sing above the spirit of the soft heavens above us. Above the pain and sorrow of the sighing earth. As her eyes began to close, I grasped her firmly in my palm and I ran. I ran as the trees and houses blurred with brilliant colors around us–urging the bird to fly. She opened her wings in inspiration, and draped above the grass. Flying in unison with the wind. This is freedom.

I wanted to close my eyes and imagine–somewhere in a corner of my heart where wisdom cannot enter–that the story would end this way. Then her eyes sighed with relief as her wings closed. Her journey ended, but mine still lives as my scarf drapes over my shoulders like wings of undying confidence. I am free.

As Anum and I touched the colorful pebbles under the water, we noticed the sun’s rays spreading its majestic colors across the creek. We smiled under this sunshine and let the smile linger in our hearts like a flame. The trees danced with the song of nature and simplicity and we swayed with its rhythm. Somewhere above the trees we heard the sound of a bird echoing its melody across the horizon–an undying whisper of hope. I believe in everlasting dreams.