ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
Front Page Mirror

Leave that light on

By Dumbo

Growing older is when you can reach that cupboard in the kitchen without the aid of a chair and it’s when they tell you, you can’t wear your favourite dress because it’s too small, and as far as you know you didn’t see it grow shorter.

It’s when your dolls just stare at you from a corner of the room and you feel that they don’t talk to you anymore and the magic they once held you in just slips away. It’s when boys don’t seem “icky” and you grow to understand that they too are just like you in some ways, that they are human and not martian.

For each individual the experience of growing older is made up of at least one such delightful memory. But what makes these times memorable is having someone to share them with and for me it’s my brother.

I look back and there is my mother telling us to eat our greens and take our vitamins that will help us grow stronger, but somehow you realize that the human soul needs nutrition of its own if it is to grow as well. My brother and I however, found ours in long late-night conversations. They were responsible for helping us grow and become what we are today. I marvel at how those conversations have journeyed a long way from childish pranks to his first love and my first dance.

Even unto this day, when all the lights in the household have gone out, save one, my brother and I, just as we’d done many times before, sit and talk but only this time, we talk about how different his life will be and how I’ll miss our conversations, as I help him put away his things which he’ll carry to college.

When I look back now I realise neither time nor years could ever change what he and I had found in our late nights, a bond that was formed between his life and mine.

It’s amazing to look at him and see only the shadow of a seven-year-old who used to pull my hair and break my dolls, now peeping through the eyes of a manly figure before me, and who’s currently ready to leave home.

Through our late-night chats he and I had witnessed the miracle of life passing from one stage into the next.

I had watched him grow and had grown with him, he watched me change from a girl to a woman and he from an annoying little boy to a caring adult, over-protective of his baby sis, who opens doors and waits up for her when she gets late. Whose shoulder not only saw the happy times but also felt the tears.

Regardless of the many disagreements and arguments, the thousands of times I’ve said “I’ll kill him,” the millions of times I promised myself, “I’ll never talk to him again”, it matters little. We’d gone through all that and much more.

I write this as a sister, a sister who has gone through all those conversations and knows from experience that even though she hates to admit it, her life wouldn’t have meant as much, that she wouldn’t have laughed as hard, learnt what she did, or smiled through the hurt, if they hadn’t been a part of it.

There are some things in this life that shouldn’t be left to a mere description of words, but lived and felt as only they can be experienced. So as a sister if I could tell the siblings of the world just one thing, it would be, if you haven’t already – leave your light on and let it grow with a few words. For who knows how much you’ll grow, how much more you’ll want to share, or how many miracles you’ll be a part of.

Maybe in a few years time, who is to say you’ll sit at night when all the lights have gone out save one, and say “do you remember” only to touch the memories with the fingertips of your mind, but more than that to relive those long conversations.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.