Hours, days, years, move too quickly,
as I endlessly try to befriend the hands of time.
Beseeching it, bargaining, pleading, placating, but to no avail.
Time is not a mortal’s friend. We are bound by it, bound to it –
an infinite construct that we mark out our days by,
turning the present into a past memory with a blink of an eye.
Nothing is forever – even if we desire it.
Yesterday, I was a little girl, playing in the magical land of ‘Out Yonder’,
a circular field beyond my Papa’s backyard.
The grassy field surrounded by giant Sentry’s, rooted arm against arm,
their flowing hair, green, red, and brown, billowing in the wind and flickering wildly against the sunset.
Before I knew what fairytales were, I was twirling with the fairies,
chasing them in and out of the Sentry’s abode.
My Papa’s laughter filling the air, mixing with mine,
as fairy dust rained down from the ebony sky.
Magical explosions burst beside the moon, lighting up the field of fairies,
as I ran into the arms of my Papa.
Before I knew what Kings were, my Papa was a King.
A King with a face that exuded love,
as if it were a tangible bubble that could be held.
His laughter always contagious, his embrace always warm and safe.
And when he said, “Go play out yonder”,
I excitedly ran to the field, still expecting to see my fairies,
and my giant guards, not truly knowing what ‘out yonder’ meant.
It was the beginning and the end of feeling carefree, of innocence.
Back when the sun could kiss my skin and I wouldn’t burn.
When the Texas warmth was my joyous evening blanket.
When I stared at the stars and dreamt of flying into their depths,
to the moon, and to Mars.
Back when fantasy was a six year old’s reality,
and everything made sense in that illogical world,
before the darkest of nightmares became my reality.
But I didn’t let go of the fairies I danced with,
or the trees I believed were watching over me,
as if they were Angels in disguise.
I didn’t let go of the stars, or the moon, or of Mars.
And I never let go of my Papa, his laughter, and his love.
I never let go of his hand, even when exiled to another world.
I constantly looked for other ‘out yonder’s’, but never found one.
So I waited. And prayed. And waited. And prayed.
Until the day I would return to my Papa and his magical field.
That day never came, despite the valley, and peaks, and seas I travelled.
At ten, I said “see you soon, Papa!”, the Texas crickets singing their mating song.
Twelve years later, I looked into the New York City sky and said, “Goodbye, Papa. Until it’s my turn,” the ocean’s tide breaking against a jetty.
Magic disappeared too many lifetimes ago, yet I still look for it
in every bursting firework, in every night sky,
in every lightning bug, in every giant tree that waves in the wind.
But I’ve yet to find anything close.
It’s a lifetime later and when I look up into the Texas sky,
it’s completely unfamiliar. I see nothing happy from my childhood.
The magic is gone because my Papa is gone.
So I envision the New York City Skyline and I think of my Papa.
I smile, knowing he would be proud and that he loved me.
In all my travels, I’ve never been back to that once magical field.
I was just a child and I don’t know where it is.
So like Atlantis, my Papa’s ‘Out Yonder’ is still a mystery.
But he is forever with me.
— Saskia Lynge / Hour 5