It was a starless night, a little cloudy. A small sliver of the moon played hide and seek behind the silver clouds. The night perfectly reflected the color of my melancholy.
There was a sudden crack of thunder. Great, I thought. This was all I needed. In moments, the clouds became darker and steadily began to envelope me. Then it started to rain. Not a sprinkle or a droplet. But cold, merciless torrents slashing and slapping against me. I began to realize how small I was. And I felt even more helpless, powerless.
‘This would be a good time to go back inside’, said the smart voice in my head.
‘NO. Stay put’, said a deeper voice. So I stayed.
By now, I was drenched to the bone. I was shivering. It was getting really cold now, almost unbearable. But not yet. And I sat there at the edge of the sea, perhaps trying to kill myself out there.
Lightning flashed in front of my eyes again and again. At first, they were just flashes. Then I began to see them as if they were incidents of my life, sharp and painful, against the dark picture of my life.
It was one of those times when you feel a little bad about something.Then, as if from nowhere, dark thoughts burst in, flood you and begin to take you down to drown.
Each flash was followed by a painfully loud clap of thunder. And I began to see things. I began to see moments of my life that I had forgotten about, that I had locked away deep inside. I didn’t want to think about them, let alone speak. But here they were, playing across in front of me. And I sat watching.
It was the darkest, blackest, coldest moment of the night. And this was the darkest, blackest, coldest moment of my life. I could feel myself sinking deeper. If there had been a time when I had more depressed in my life, I do not remember when that was. But this one was right down there.
My face was numb with the ice cold drops of water precipitating there, and I felt two small tears form in my eyes. They oozed out gently, and began getting heavier as more painful thoughts seemed to weigh them down. And then they spilled, flowing down my cheeks, mixing with the rainwater somewhere along the way.
‘This would really be a good time to go back inside’, said the smart voice in my head.
‘NO. Not yet’, said the deeper voice.
‘Do you want to die in the cold?’ scolded my smarter half.
‘Yes, that would be nice. But not yet.’ insisted the deeper half.
So I sat still. By now the cold began to chill my very blood. I could feel it.
It was beginning to pain now. Even my breath came in short wheezes. But I obeyed.
I closed my eyes and gave a quiet sob. I quickly opened my eyes and looked around. There was no one. So I gave another sob, a little louder this time. Two more tears dropped down.
At that moment, it was as if my whole life was coming crashing down on me. It brought in all the moments when I had felt the weakest, the most vulnerable and all hope was lost. I let go. I closed my eyes and howled into the night. I cried my heart out.
Not for me, for I wasn’t a bad man. But for the world around me.
All I could see was a dark, dark night that refused to end.
All I could see was a thick curtain of rain that refused to yield.
All I could see was loss, pain, tragedy and suffering around me, inside me.
Not mine, for I wasn’t a bad man. But for this world around me.
I do not know how long I was there, but when I came to my senses I was lying down. I had probably fallen asleep. The rain had stopped and it was a little warmer now.
A trickle of water at my feet from a small wave woke me up.
I was lying at the edge of the sea. With a start I got up to look around me. It was still pitch dark, and had stopped raining. But that was not what captivated me.
It was the smell in the air, probably of everything the rain had brought in.
A sudden movement caught my eye.
In the pitch darkness, a slight tinge of yellow moved somewhere.
Almost as if it were shy. Almost as if I had made a mistake and not really seen it.
I blinked. Yes, there it was again.
The rain was gone, and a sudden gush of wind came in.
It swept my hair backwards and smelt strangely sweet.
I breathed in deeply and even dared to smile a little.
It seemed as if cracks were beginning to appear in the dark blue canvas of the night sky, and yellow rays began piercing through it. So this was it. The night had ended.
I tried to remember what I had been crying about, but just couldn’t recollect.
Maybe the rain and cold and darkness had washed it all away.
A lightness seemed to spiral up my chest. What was it?
As if in answer to my question, the dark blue of the sky began to disappear altogether. Bold yellow rays seemed to stretch across the sky as if it were a painting board. An invisible hand continued to paint yellow strokes until I could see a neat outline of the horizon.
The dark blue turned to violet, and then, after a second in transition, became bright blue.
Like last night, this was another big moment. It felt as if everything that had ever made me feel alive was coming together in this grand finale- the love, laughter, and joy seemed to fill me with such strength that I felt I would burst.
After the darkest, blackest, coldest moment of the night, sunshine was upon me.
But it was a second later that the real miracle happened.
Far, far away, at the very edge of the horizon, an orange dot began to appear out of nowhere. It was very faded and seemed to blend with the purple that was around it.
The wind stopped blowing. The water stopped moving. My heart stopped beating.
We were all holding our breath to see what was going to happen.
It was as if none of us knew that the sun rose every morning.
It was as if, forgetting about this one simple fact, we had come forth to behold this one astounding miracle. The birth of a new day.
The orange dot steadily became larger and brighter. Then it became yellow. And then it turned gold. It was getting bright, blindingly bright. It reached a crescendo, and just when I thought I could bear to hold still no more, it happened. The sun broke through. And the night was killed.
Another gust of wind came with that sweet smell. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in.
At the same instant, everything that had ever held me back or pulled me down seemed to break away. Just like one ray of sunshine had pierced through a hopeless, eternal darkness, something reciprocated inside me. The chains of fear and sorrow that were strangling me snapped into pieces as I flew away, high into the sky.
‘Open your eyes. See around you!’ urged the smart voice in my head.
‘NO.’ smiled the deeper voice. ‘Keep your eyes shut. For you have never been able to see better in all your life...’
I smiled. I knew the deeper voice was right.