My heavy eyelids slip slowly downwards. As they continue to droop I take one final, albeit increasingly blurry, look at the comforting image of my childhood bedroom. Upon my lush peach-colored armchairs, I catch sight of my many beloved dolls, the dolls that never fail to entertain my little-girl fancies throughout the day. They appear to be swaying; their beautiful china faces spinning slightly, and their painted glass eyes closing ever so gradually. “Oh, they must be positively tired,” I muse silently. Upon my chest of drawers I spy my tea set. Yes, I know it is just a toy replica, but for someone who has lived ten whole years (“That’s an entire decade,” I often tell my parents) and has therefore seen quite a bit of the world, I find my tea set rather sophisticated all the same. How I adore imposing an invitation to tea upon anyone and everyone, humans and imaginary friends alike! “I should like to have tea tomorrow afternoon,” I ponder to myself. Perhaps, by tomorrow my older, and more recently “too-cool-for-that-kind-of-stupid-stuff” sister will at long last give in to my incessant begging and pleading. I can’t imagine how she has managed to resist such a lucrative offer for so long, after all. A sweet, summer breeze floods in through the curtains beside my four-poster bed. Its soothing warmth tickles me as perfumed smells of flowers, lush green leaves, and life partake in a dizzy waltz, whirling around my head…
At length, my youthful eagerness can no longer resist the overpowering feeling of exhaustion, and I submit to my fatigue. With this, my eyelids falter, hesitate in their place for just a moment, and then finally drift to a close. My head sinks deep into the soft, white pillow. As it always does, contentment soon overcomes the fleeting guilt of defeat in the epic childhood battle fought against “bedtime.” Still amidst the hazy state between consciousness and slumber, just before the usual inundation of fantastical dreams of far-off places and mystical faces, I feel those reassuring cool fingers caress my sweaty forehead. They trace the outline of my face; they run through my silky, light-brown hair. The soft skin, their gentle strokes, their tender rhythm, all can belong to none other than the affection of a mother. And then, what I have been waiting for: a familiar sugary melody wafts into my ears. “Tell me why the stars do shine. Tell me why the ivy twines. Tell me why the sky is so blue… And I will tell you just why I love you…”
As I tip precariously upon the brink of sleep, these words seem to call to me from a distant place; a place I intrinsically know to be “home.” The harmony resonates affectionately within my young soul. As the moon kindles the black night, as the wind kindles fire, as the rains fill every ocean, the song’s message kindles my heart. Not a worry or care in the world, I feel completely safe, stable, secure. My mother’s peaceful voice, its tempo flowing and syrupy, emerges again into the room. “Because God made the stars to shine, because God made the ivy twine, because God made the sky so blue, because God made you… That’s why I love you.” Everywhere within and around me is happiness. Everywhere within and around me is peace. Everywhere within and around me is beauty. Everywhere within and around me is love.
I venture fearlessly into the realm of dreams, with full faith that the love that flowed out of my mother’s mouth will follow me, stay with me, and also be there waiting patiently for me when I open my eyes to a new day. “I really think that dear God above created you just for me to love. He picked you out from all the rest because he knew that I’d love you best…” Eventually, after the song was over, my mother would leave my side to retire to her own bed, but I never knew, for I was long fast asleep. To me, she was still with me, by my side, caressing my face with her soft fingers, and kindling my heart with her love.