Sunlight, My Friend

Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

The sunlight, in its afternoon glow, filters in waves of yellow and gold. The rays dance and flash against the dark pillow upon which I lay. It brings out the red in my dark brown strands, a reminder that there are always parts of me hidden in the shadows. It blinds me momentarily, sending a cluster of fuzzy white shadows swimming across my vision. In the sunlight, I can be anywhere, anytime, any version of myself.

The sunlight flickers and spins, twists and jumps across the polished wooden floors like a phantom ballerina. The dancing beams remind me of childhood, of dancing through the kitchen on Mother’s slippers or of nap times pretending to sleep while she speaks softly in another room. The light has the power to remind me of daydreams hatched once upon a time, dreams born in sunshine of the future where all my naive dreams would come true, days now long past. I did not yet understand that the patterns on the harvest gold couch only existed because the sun filtered through the shadows, that the light required the dark.

The sunlight peeps between the metal blinds, casting stripes across his naked back. I climb the shadows of taut skin with my fingers, delighting in the shiver between the warmth of his skin and the cool of the morning. We are young, ageless, timeless, wrapped up in sun and silver, passion, and that four-letter word we dare not speak. The hours melt away with the light of day and the moon takes over, casting a soft glow over sweat-glistened bodies. We exist between dusk and dawn, as lovers always do. Morning dawns once more and with it a fear of feet touching floor and breaking the bubble of our own making. Here sunlight is the enemy.

The sunlight glints across reddish-blonde curls and catches flecks of brown and blue in smiling eyes. The metal creak of the swings grasped in tiny hands so much like mine follows the setting sun and the rising moon, up and down, up and down, all the while crying out for more. Laughter punctuates the sigh of passing clouds and passing time. Soon, playtime will be over, making way for the tear-some teens and the boundaries of young adulthood. Their youth and mine disappear over the horizon like a plaything left behind. Then, for the first time in my life, I’m alone in the shadows.

Sunlight trickles through the old mullioned window to find me wrapped in a blanket of mink and memories. I am older now and the heat of a winter sun feels good on my creased skin and aching muscles. For a moment, I can close my eyes and recreate those moments of my youth, of my coming-of-age, of young motherhood, of daydreams still yet to slip away like the fragments of a life lived so long ago. I sit up, my face centered in a bright ray of afternoon sun. An idea to hike for hours along the Highland Ridge and climb down to touch the frigid stream flickers across my mind. The pain chases it away, back to the shadows where desire withers. Now, I must rest, it demands. Tomorrow, sunlight will come again like an old friend. A cluster of fuzzy white shadows swims across my vision. In the sunlight, I am anywhere, anytime, any version of myself.

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Mindi Boston is a former freelance writer. She employs Hemingway’s advice in her personal works — to ‘simply sit down at the typewriter and bleed.’

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Mindi Boston

Mindi Boston

Mindi Boston is a former freelance writer. She employs Hemingway’s advice in her personal works — to ‘simply sit down at the typewriter and bleed.’

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