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Hiraeth

Image: Contact, by Ira Ratry 

Image: Contact, by Ira Ratry 

There are worlds that we have forgotten. There are places that we visited, as children, that are lost to us now. 

Sometimes, upon freshly waking, we can taste them again, we can recall their scent in the air, feel their breeze on our faces, remember, slightly, how we ran so easily through their spaces, our young bodies bounding beneath skies alive and outside of time. In those first few moments, as we are slowly released from the deep cipher of sleep, they follow us into this world, forming a residue that lingers on the skin, informing us, beyond all logic, of realities far outside of the waking imagination.

Yet as the fog of the dream world dissipates, we relinquish ourselves, once again, to this realm of flesh and substance — this strange and sorrowful place that stinks of the unfulfilled certainty of those who have been all too awake, for far too long. And it is here that we set about the business of being human, of learning, of attuning ourselves to the rhythms of a world absent the playful wisdom we only so recently recalled. 

Yet the secret has been tasted, however briefly, reminding us that it can never be truly forgotten. It wafts through on the mist of that dream-residue, thick with the unmistakable musk of pleasure and purpose; a reminder, however slight, of the potential for an efflorescence that is, beyond any doubt, our very birthright. 

What it whispers to us is a tale of magic, and power. What takes years to accomplish in this world, it says, can arrive in moments, on wings, when we inform it with an imagination infused with its essence. All we need do, it tells us, is make the return, resurrect the vision, and it will carry us through its timeless passage once more, delivering us to realms where we can claim again the right to write our lives as we so choose. 

I am your true home, it says. I am where you came from, and where you will return to. Remember? You have left me behind, but I am not gone. I am right here, always. Do you remember? Long before the looming spectre of adulthood cast its shadow across your small face, you occupied my realms, for hours, rife with enough power to persist here, to play and ponder, to rest and wander, relinquishing me and returning to me at will, baptizing yourself, time and again, in the unspoken information of secret generations.

So this, then, becomes the most important question. To be asked again, and again.

Do you remember? 

Do you remember the worlds lost to us now? The infinite landscapes of the magical Child Mind, arising organically from the majesty of the lands through which we ran, already so richly coloured, already so sublime... 

With but a touch of that mind we moved into dimensions we knew the adults had long ago let go of, yet for us, oh so familiar, oh so alive... 

And it was there that we were everything, anything  in no manner pretend, but reality true reality, where there existed not one worry, not one care but what adventure we might dare thrust ourselves into, what treasures might come to pass through our tender but tough little hands, alive and fierce and bearing of the timeless magic of ages as they were...

In those moments, we knew the nature of being and the truth of play that lay at the heart of all creation, and we embodied it, for a time...

Do you remember? 

Or have you forgotten?