My Heaven

Inspired by an emulation of Ellie Wiesel’s “Never Shall I forget…”

Never shall I forget the day my heaven was created.

I remember going camping with my family during the summer of 2014. I remember being at the campground while my parents set up the tent and my siblings and my cousin occupied themselves. I remember asking my parents if I could go to a nearby beach. I remember the music blasting in my ears as I walked along the shore with my camera in hand. I remember coming across a tree that I, for some reason, felt an overwhelming need to climb. Getting to the top of the tree, covered with leaves and branches for no one to see, I remember feeling hopeful for the first time. I remember listening to my music and staring at everything around me- observing the nature of the world.

I remember the wind in my hair- the goosebumps on the back of my neck from the chill. I remember the sunset- the orange and pink colours shining through the beautiful green of the leaves. The light hitting the water, turning everyone in it into silhouettes. I remember the music- the melody harmonizing with the waves.

Kelowna- 2014

I remember feeling every limb in my body fall into a relaxed trance. I remember the weight being lifted off my shoulders as all the pressure and stress floated away into the air- carried away by the wind. I remember thinking I could fly because at that moment, everything was possible. I remember praying to stay in that moment forever. Praying that the sun would never fully set, the tides would never fall, and the wind would never die down. Praying that the clock would stop so I would never have to return to my family. Praying to never leave my own version of heaven.

I remember having an epiphany, a realization, that despite the fact that I had never been there before, I knew in my heart that this was where I belonged. I remember sitting there alone and relaxed in the tree, finally feeling a sense of tranquility and fulfillment as it occurred to me that this was  the least lonely I had ever felt in my life . I was truly one with my surroundings and everything seemed to make sense at the moment. I remember my heart beating at a steady rhythm for the first time in years. I remember my thoughts shutting off, allowing me to focus more on my current state. I remember the texture of the tree, running my finger across the aged bark, the rough surface of the wood. The perfect shade of brown infused within every branch. The leaves, with every shade of green known to man, all perfectly shaped and symmetrical. I remember the rustling of the leaves by the wind- the whispers of encouragement and love engulfing me.

I remember closing my eyes- letting my other senses indulge in the beauty of my surroundings. I remember the smell of the sea side- a salty fresh scent wafted up to me every time a wave would crash along the shore. I remember the sound of a simple melody flowing into my heart with every breath I took. I remember the feeling of the chilly wind hitting my face resulting in a flush of red across my cheeks.

I remember thinking, in that moment, time was nothing but a figment of my imagination. And sadness? Sadness was temporary. I remember watching as my regrets and pain washed away into the sea.

Never shall I forget the moment when nothing existed except for happiness and peace. In that moment, the sweet serendipity of familiarity surrounded my eternal loneliness.

Never shall I forget my heaven.
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6 thoughts on “My Heaven

  1. Dear Sidra,

    This is beautifully written. Your writing created such a vivid scene that even I, with my aphantasia, can almost picture it. You articulate your ideas in a straightforward yet complex way and the imagery you included fits well with the text.

    Something that I noticed that you could change for next time would just be to a bit more variety in sentence structure. All of the sentences start with “Never shall I forget..” which is great stylistically but after that point most of your sentences are fairly basic sentences. Adding some compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences would just help the variety of sentences.

    I can’t wait to read more! Your work is lovely!


  2. Dear Sidra,

    Thank you for sharing such an amazing, memorable moment of your life with us. Your style of writing encompassed imagery, parallels, and repetition– all of which worked splendidly well in depicting your heaven to the reader. The details you included were also greatly enhanced by your appropriate word choices: I especially enjoyed the line, “I remember the rustling of the leaves by the wind- the whispers of encouragement and love engulfing me.” I almost felt as if I was there myself, and could visualize the personification of the wind you provided.

    In terms of improvement, there is not much I can say. One minor thing I might have altered, however, would have been to add a semicolon between the following sentences as opposed to a period: “I remember the texture of the tree, running my finger across the aged bark, the rough surface of the wood; the perfect shade of brown infused within every branch.” Though your simple sentences did strengthen the beautiful simplicity of what you were illustrating, the period in this specific place seemed to slightly disrupt the flow.

    In conclusion, your piece definitely left me yearning for a serene experience myself. I know I, like many others, rarely take the time to admire the beauty present in nature. Thank you, again, for reminding me of the importance of cherishing such beauty; it is what allows us to find solace in our frenzied lives.

    Warm regards,

  3. Sidra,

    Once again, you’ve done an amazing job with this piece. I loved how realistic your writing was. I felt at peace with every sentence I read and each word felt like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful part of your world!
    One suggestion I would make is to maybe place your second last paragraph within your earlier descriptions to keep the flow going.
    Other than that, you really used your voice within this piece and I command you for that!


  4. Dear Amy,
    Thank you for your amazing feedback. I’ll definitely try to incorporate a more diverse sentence structure.

  5. Dear Ayisha,
    It brings me great joy to hear my piece was liked by such an amazing writer. I greatly appreciate you taking time out to read my piece and I will definitely change that particular sentence.


  6. Dear Dorlie,
    Thanks for your amazing input! I agree with your suggestion and will definitely change the way in which I incorporated that particular paragraph.

    Thanks again,

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