Light broke through the horizon, piercing the dark of night with the brightness of a new day. The stars in the night sky quickly faded and were replaced by fluffy marshmallow clouds. The sky filled with wondrous colors of yellow, red, and orange. A young woman stood at the top of a hill watching this wondrous site, a young babe in her arms. The wind blew her long ebony hair and it brushed against the babe's ivory colored face. The woman smiled down at her son with her pale blue eyes, and smoothed his jet-black hair cooing to him all the while. This baby was me, the woman, my mum. They say babies don't really have memories but I remember this vividly. She brought me up here often, on her morning walk while my father and sister still slept. She would sing to me a sweet song, the words I don't remember, but I remember this morning extra clearly, this was the last time I would ever see mum. I remember this day felt a little bit different but I never knew how or why. The morning started like any other, mum woke me while it was still dark out, her floral print dress smelled of sweet milk, and her face smelled softly of the perfume she always wore. She lifted me out of the battered oak wood crib I slept in and placed me in her arms, safe and warm as always. She crept downstairs, careful not to awaken my father or sister and slipped outside. It was a brisk morning, like many others that particular time of month. The newly fallen dew wet my mothers tan sandals as she walked through the grass, towards the dirt path we used to walk up the hill. The robins, and cardinals, sparrows, crows, and blue jays fluttered about the sky, each singing its own song that harmonized to create one beautiful song. As the birds sang their songs, so did I babbling my own melody to the peaceful song. My mother smiled and laughed a bit as some of the birds flew away, while others added their own harmony. We continued on, through the forest until we reached that particular hill. Mum walked up, almost to the edge of the cliff, the sunrise intensifying illuminating the small valley below. She turned my body in her arms so I too could see the glorious site. "One day, my precious boy," she whispered, "All this land, will be yours, the trees your very own to climb on, the streams, to play in, the birds to sing with, and the sun will shine and smile down upon you. All the other charms of this magical place my darling, will belong to you," she said pointing at all the various trees, streams and such. I laughed and she smiled, bouncing me a bit, "You know," she whispered "There's a special magic in this place, a magic that you will soon discover as did I…" she said, her voice trailing off. We stood there, in silence for a few minutes more watching the sunrise. "Alright love," she cooed to me as a fussed a bit, my tummy rumbling with hunger "We'll head back now, and get you a nice warm bottle, how's that sound?" I smiled, laughed, and looked up at her. She turned around to head home but first took one last look at the sunset "Until tomorrow," she whispered smiling as she turned around, me in her arms heading back for home. "Until tomorrow," she said, little had I known that for her there would be no tomorrow, that day, my first birthday of all days was the last time we'd ever see that sunrise together. She was murdered, that very afternoon.
When I reflect on it, I often pause and wonder, what would have happened if I didn't fuss, if we stayed there, together, just a few moments longer? Would the memory last longer? Would the magical light from the sun shine down upon us just a little bit longer? But alas, one cannot dwindle on the what ifs as I so often did, you can only reflect on the memories you held so dear in your heart. I'm obviously older now, an almost grown boy. Still, every so often, I venture out at the crack of dawn, as mum and I so often did 17 years ago, and I still watch the sunrise over the horizon, the birds still sing their song of sweetness, the trees still stand strong, mighty and majestic, the streams still run, the brooks still babble. The magic of this place is still here, and as I feel the soft March wind blow through my long black hair, I still feel my mother, standing close by me, still singing that sweet song to me, the words now finally audible. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey, you'll never know dear, how much I love you please don't take my sunshine away…"