Dark Nights on a Cricket Field   Leave a comment

I’m on a field with a cricket bat in my hands, and I’m waiting. An old tennis ball is thrown at me and I tense my thighs. It is a dark evening in the Caribbean, and as I hit the ball with a crack, I set off running. Strangely the field I am on is mostly empty, and as I come to a finish, I laugh as I see my grandfather doing a light job somewhere nearby. “Come sah. You can’t beat me.” He says with a laugh. I smile as I look at him, feeling a sense of familiarity as fresh as the first time I set foot in my grandparent’s first home when I was four. I still remember that sensation. The house was large and quiet, and the wood smelled fresh and sweet. It had an air of history, as my mother had lived at that very house growing up. I remembered my fourth birthday, when my grandfather took me to a large room in the house to show me a gift he had for me.

“Happy birthday!” he said, and revealed my present. In front of me was a yellow desk and a three legged stool. That day I was pristinely excited. I loved to draw, and I would spend many an hour on that desk drawing until I broke the stool with my weight years later.

On the cricket field, smiling at the fresh-faced image of my grandfather smiling at me, I have a sense of meaning in the moment. This I know, because I am dreaming. My  grandfather died in late 2005. My Grandmother is nearby. I do not see her, but I can sense her, in the same way I am able to sense the feeling of youth and family that comes with the mere thought of her. I see the smiles, I hear laughs and little giggles from my then-tiny body being tickled by her large, dark hands. Instantly, the field disappears and I am back at my grandparent’s home. It is also dark there but I am comfortable.

We speak about something, but the words are unknown to me. All I remember is the good feeling that comes with sharing a moment of quiet with my grandparent’s. “You don’t have much time left to talk with him.” My Grandmother says to me, nodding at my grandfather. I nodded, understanding what she meant. My Grandmother is alive, and it was as if what she said was directly in reference to my dream. Something about her words rang true to me in a familiar way, but not with the wrenching sense of danger on that scary day when I rushed with my family members to the hospital to see my grandfather alive for the last time. It was as if she was mentioning that this moment wasn’t forever and I should make the most of it.

It has been mentally challenging for me lately, thinking of the near future. Things have felt cloudy and uncertain, and though I am happy for all that I have and have seen thus far in my life, there are a few more things I desire. This desire is so potent it had kept me in my room day after day, as I toil away in my free time in an attempt to make these dreams a reality. To many, I must seem like a ghost, and I feel that way sometimes, sitting in my apartment in old clothes, existing somewhere between the sleeping world and that of the awake people.

In the dream, I am now on an island of some kind that reminds of me of a place I visited once on vacation. I can sense my grandparent’s are nearby at a hotel, but I don’t see them. In this part of the  dream I am with a group of people. They are suggesting I go to a show later. Another group of people, also strangers, are telling me about a party. These people I realize, represent my need to leave the apartment for a bit and merely clear my head.

I wake up soon after, my room cold from the wind of a Japanese winter outside, and my heart warm with memories of my grandparents. I’ve had a few dreams like this before, particularly at challenging moments  in my life. For now, I feel calm in the face of my quiet conversation with my grandfather, and for the next several days I will hold on to that image of me on a dark cricket field somewhere in Jamaica, laughing with him as he smiles at me, jogging in place, fresh-faced and young, with twinkling eyes.

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