TITLE: The Exquisiteness of Seeing
GENRE: Adult - Magical realism, WF
When an ocean arrives in a box a woman running from her abusive childhood is gifted with meeting herself and ages 8 and 103 and the chance to confront her childhood secrets.
The ocean arrives in a box.
A white card the size of postcard is stuck on top. Waves that look a bit like storm clouds where they froth are drawn in swirls on one side; the blues and greens like bruises. On the other side in loopy handwriting it reads;
One Ocean: Plant in the backyard.
Dig too deep and the roots suffocate.
Too shallow and the roots won't anchor.
There's no address, no stamps, no name on it at all. The cardboard is soggy and the string falls off without much help. A bit of help. Okay, I pulled. Dead leaves cling to the side, like sisters. One sister. My sister. All mine.
What kind of ocean arrives in a box?
You should be able to collect oceans. That's what I told Nannie. Then you could pour one into a jar and take it home. All the sand between your toes and the way Mummy is laughing and pushing your sister on the swing, you could catch that moment and keep it. But oceans being delivered? That’s some kind of magic job.
My breath curls in the cold and makes shapes. Only me and Cold-air Friend huddled together in my backyard. And now a box with an ocean that wants to be planted.
I open the lid. One cardboard flap at a time. It doesn't seem like a thing you should rush, although there's this rushing feeling in the air. Inside me.