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Dreaming of when.

Once upon a time there lived a boy who dreamed of something. In his world the sky was more than blue, it was an ocean that swirled beyond the clouds. he marvelled at it’s size and beauty. The boy spent his days staring at his ocean, wishing that he could dive into it’s depths and swim in it’s beauty.

The boy became a man, as most boys do. The man tried not to forgot the boy and still spent hours staring into his dream. The man still wished to swim, but it was tempered by the facts of age. The knowledge of limitations and the need to live a life withut dreams. He worked hard to build a life of expectations and wealth, soon forgetting his hopes, his wishes. Days dragged on to years and life moved along.

He was not unhappy but yearned deep in his heart for something more. He married and had children. He marvelled at the innocense of youth. He had forgotten what dreams were, he had left the boy in memory.

Time moved without pity. It aged the man and his family. His children became adults and they had children of their own. He felt his bones creak and hair grey. His hands wrinkled and spotted. He spent more time looking into the sky, remembering their was something special, but never remembering what that special thing was.

One day the youngest of his grandchildren was visiting with his mother. The old man watch the child as he ran around the yard. The sun shined down such glorious warmth and the boy relished the bright day with smiles and laughter. The boy made time for his grandfather. Talking at speeds that made the old man dizzy, but also made him smile. On this day the boy was full of questions as he sat on grandpa’s knee.

“Whatchya do when you was young Poppy?” he buzzed.

“I was a lot like you…full of bees!” Poppy joked at the young boy.

“I’m not full of bees!” the boy frowned.

“Could of fooled me…you leep buzzing around my yard.”

They laughed together as the old man tickled his little grandson. The boy tickled back.

“I wish we could go swimming, wanna go down to the lake Poppy?”

The old man was looking at the sky when he heard the boy say swimming. His memory jumped out from hiding and the blue of his ocean returned. He marvelled with eyes wide and teary at his ocean, amazed he had forgotten how much he dreamed of swimming.

“When i was your age i dreamed of swimming. I dreamed of diving into the ocean up there.” He pointed to the sky, “I wanted to swim above the clouds, across the world in that deep blue swirl. That was my secret dream…silly dreams of a boy that is now an old man.”

The boy stared into his tearful Poppy’s eyes. His smile wide and full. He put his hands on his grandfather’s cheeks and turned the face to look at him.

“Poppy, that’s not silly.”

The old man returned the smile. He wrapped his arms around the boy and hugged him tight. He felt his tears on his cheeks at the joy of sharing his only dream. All of a sudden, he felt himself getting lighter. Felt his body float off his chair. He held on to his grandson, not wanting him to fall.

He then heard his grandson whisper in his ear, “I dream it too.”

And they went for that swim.

Dreaming of when.

Paul Rees-Jones

Toronto, Canada

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