The earth may be Mother to us all, but when you live within reach of the tide, it's the moon and the sea you run to when you need comfort.
You learn the rhythm of the waves in the cradle, and you grow up only to return to the womb every chance you get. You learn the language and the songs of breezes laden with salt like the tears you cry, and you give your tears, like you give yourself, back to the ocean. She takes your tears... but then she washes you back to shore, and gives you back to yourself.
You learn the feel of sand beneath your feet, giving way and shifting under your weight, and you learn to keep your balance, to not slow down, to not break your stride, when the things you put your trust in don't stay the way you thought they would.
You learn to take the sweetness of the fruit, and to enjoy each fruit in its season. You learn, too, to climb for that fruit. You scrape your shins sometimes, bruise your hands with grasping... but you learn by that to judge when the fruit is worth the effort. You learn to stop and observe, to know when it is ripe and when it would be best to go to another tree -- or when it is overripe, and you've waited too long. You learn the wisdom of not waiting too long.
You learn that storms, like sunshine, have their season... and when it is the season of storms, you learn the comfort of lying in a safe space, and you feel that safety more because the danger is not far away. But you also learn faith that eventually the storms will pass over, and it will be the sunshine season again.
You wake in the morning to awareness of the world outside, and you learn the beauty and the dangers it holds. You learn that the prettiest snake is the deadliest, and that the drabbest bird has the loveliest song. And you learn to be steadfast in the face of both beauty and danger, because the commonplaces of living can be put off only so long. So you pause for a moment to watch the butterfly flutter away from you... but then you rebalance the basket of laundry, and you finish your chore.
You launch your kite in the air, and you learn from it that achievement is purchased with the coin of control. You lose your kite for the first time to the boy who put the zwill on his kite, and you learn what it is to fail through someone else's cruelty. You learn, too, as you build another kite, that nothing is entirely irreplaceable -- but neither is anything entirely replaceable, especially innocence and trust. You outfit your own new kite with a zwill, and your lesson has been harder, maybe, than you can find words for -- and so are you harder, too.
You watch the moons wax and wane, the tides come in and go out. You live always with the consciousness of time passing, and you learn that you have, like everything and everyone, your own season, your own time.
You live in a world whose edges you know and have seen, and you learn your place within that world.
You live in a world where you are surrounded by horizons where sky meets water meets eternity, and you learn that you are limitless.
You venture past those horizons, you learn the ways of other worlds, and you come to love without borders, too. And you know you love, when you wish for those you hold dear -- that they could all have had all the small-island lessons that were given to you.
(reposted from my personal site, http://www.tears-of-gold.org/)