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.
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.