A girl, about five years old, is sitting on a swing, aimlessly moving back and forth staring at the sand below her feet hoping the time when she’ll be able to reach it with her toes and sweep it into the air will come soon. The little grains of sand would make the air kind of dusty, would fly against the same winds that also made the palm trees stir, and disappear into the seemingly empty space. But one of these little specks that remained in the air would finally land on one of her bright pupils, creating an uncomfortable itch. If this girl were already nine years old, no longer forced to wear infantile sundresses and allowed to ride her bike to the park alone, she probably would not have done what she did if such thing had happened. She would have screamed as loudly as she could, the echo of her voice resounding against the trees and going back into her mouth where her uvula could be seen quiver slightly at the force of her cry. It was like a plea to be heard, how much she needed to be needed, all this time she’d been quiet, and how she longed to speak. But she couldn’t reach the sand with her toes yet, so the sand did not flick into the air and into the trees and back into her eye. So she was still on her swing imagining what it would feel like to yell that loudly. She could even feel the actual speck of dust in her eye, eventually producing a single teardrop rolling down her cheek and into the sand.
An adult way past his time of youthfulness would get scared and worried at the sight of a child not acting like a child should. That time goes by so fast and innocence gets lost so quickly. A child should play and laugh and do cartwheels on play mats and sing in choirs and be happy. A child that would much rather sit at the grown-ups table discussing the importance of literacy in third world countries and watching the news every night instead of playing in the pool with the rest of the kids at age nine, is not normal. But this particular child did not care, she’d long ago ditched her sundress and last week she had taken her first bike ride alone to the park. Not that she went to the park to play, of course that would be absolutely preposterous. She simply brought along her journal where she would jot down her observations on the landscape and every tiny little thing she saw. Mostly doodles and words she’d seen before but didn’t exactly understand. It fascinated her to the point of no return. How could she ever have time to play when there were so many things to watch? She could watch birds flying across the skies, the sun shining upon freshly mown grass, leaves falling unexpectedly to the ground in autumn, and staring back at her mother’s angry face. The rest of the kids are over there. Her perfectly manicured nail was pointing at the other side of the park. I don’t care for the rest of the kids. Not that she was a bitter child harboring spite against her mother and the rest of the kids. She was perfectly content. She would have time to be a child later, when she finished watching and listening to every single thing Earth had, she would play. When that happened, her mother would be so very happy and she’d be so very happy also.