The air was hot and the crowd was noisy. What were they looking at? She could see them packed and talkative through the open window, but the object of their curiosity was hidden from view.
The room was small, with brown and earthy, moist walls. The ceiling was low and she could feel its presence closing in on her. She moved her gaze up, but the ceiling was now the sky. Still feeling cramped and tight, but looking like a million possibilities, open and bright and blue. Baby blue.
Someone was talking to her and when she turned around to where the voice was coming from she was surprised to see a blooming tree growing towards the sky. A thought crossed her mind. Maybe the sky was growing towards the tree. The two seemed quite at peace with each other and the growing branches didn’t seem disturbed by the closing skies. Their union was bathed in strong, bright light.
The flowers of the tree were pale pink and plum. It seemed like two painters decided to work together, one happy and light, one serious and calm. She remembered that this was the reason she was here. She wanted a tree like that in her garden. And the voice was giving her the care instructions. For the tree to grow and thrive, she would have to plant 18 seeds in the same place. No more, no less.
The crowd was getting noisier and more restless outside. The voice started to fade just as a woman, carrying 18 pink and plum flowers appeared from behind the tree. She took them and, all of a sudden, the room was behind her, far away. The crowd vanished and its noise became a distant rumble. She could swear there was no door in the room, yet somehow she was now out, in the sunlight, the sky way above her and looking like it had no plan to come down on the little beings below.
The light was bathing everything in sight and the only thing she could see was the path below the soles of her shoes. She remembered the broken stones and the weeds growing through the cracks. She was back in her childhood garden, to plant the beautiful tree.
Kids were giggling in the distance. It seemed the house was miles away, and it took her a while to get to the door. Through the blinding light, a tiny girl with curly, blonde hair and rosy cheeks threw up her arms and asked to be hugged. It was her little sister looking just like in the picture taken 26 years before and she received the hug she was so eager about.
Standing in the doorway, flowers in her hand, she then saw her young self, with curly short hair, plum shadows under her eyes and a funny little hole in the pointy chin. Looking awkward and restless, the little girl came closer and gave her future self a long, warm hug. The two stayed like this for quite some time, hugging away the worries, the cares, the tears and fears.
In the garden, the tree was blooming, hugged by the baby blue sky. Hugs can cure almost everything.
Illustration by Joanna Szmerdt
I dream a lot, in colour and black and white. I dream all sorts of funny and strange things. I thought these dreams of mine might make for good shorts stories. Probably you’ll see more of these in the future…