Touching An Epoch Of Life This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   You awoke that Monday morning anxious for night to arrive. Time was the obstacle, you thought. The day was so long and the minutes and hours walked on very slowly. You were only eight years old, too young to understand what you were about to leave behind. With eyes closed, you looked away without appreciation of your possessions. Every moment and every hour of that life was unique. It was a way of life that would never rise again in the same way after you left for that foreign land.

Your innate impatience seized you. You looked at the sky - your eyes passed the branches and green leaves and you saw patches of blue and puffy, creamy clouds. You followed their path and realized they went wherever the wind led them, they were in constant change. You thought about being a cloud held by the wind. They hide the light sometimes.

The time had come. You heard words of good-bye rumble in your head. "Good-bye. You are very lucky where you are going," Grandma had said. Her voice sounded elated on the surface, but underneath, it stirred with painful emotions. Her voice seemed to amalgamate and intermingle with the rest of your family's voice. You only heard a jumble of blithesome farewells. You gave your last hugs and adieus in the airport that night. The wind accompanied you as you bequeathed that life, (and all that was essential in it), to the wind. The wind would take this life in a writhing course.

Peru was now in the past, miles and memories away. The United States was new and fresh. You were excited about what life here would have to offer. In time, you would realize it was not any better, but different. Your ideas, customs and beliefs were not the same as here. Grandma had been somewhat right when she mentioned your fortune. You realized you had somewhat sacrificed happiness. Living in this country was a time of self-discovery. You knew yourself more clearly but found few to identify with, except your brother and parents.

As the years accumulated, you began to feel their weight. You became pensive about that distant life. You had forgotten about its meaning and significance. You recalled grandparents who loved you, generous aunts and uncles, and fun cousins. You could sense the wind passing along every time you heard your grandma on the phone. The wind carrying that life became agonizing and violent, something unexpected. You wondered if you had become a cloud all those years and the wind had taken you and the life you relinquished.

Nothing seemed to heal you - only returning. Now you could comprehend that life, because from the outside it was easier to see. Returning to Peru was, in fact, a greater delight and happier experience than leaving. It gave you comfort, strength and joy. Revisiting family and friends was more than you had hoped. It was like being reborn. You had finally become part of the life you had abandoned to the wind, and the wind was slow and pacified.

Just as it came, the wind must go, and you with it. You returned to the United States with new hopes and strengths. The wind now only exists as a reminder of the life you had learned to cherish and that you can return to. You have not floated away like a cloud, but were held by the memories and love that tie you back to that hallmark of your life. Returning - only then can you touch that epoch of your life. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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