His eyelids opened slowly. He felt tired. The sleep had been an interrupted one, full of thoughts and wishes and regrets and hopes and pain and happiness.
As he lifted his body and sat upright beams of sunlight struck his face. The warmth of those golden rays was enough to wake him from his daze. It was a new day. It was a good day.
He made his way to the nearest tree. It was the first thing he did every day. Next to the tree lay a pile of leaves and twigs and branches, just as you could find anywhere in the surrounding area. Except this pile was different. This pile hid a certain treasure.
As he carefully uncovered the treasure, making sure he wasn’t being watched, the boy smiled. He smiled that same smile which he smiles every morning when his treasure is finally revealed. He blew the dust and earth away from its surface. And then he began to run.
His destination was unimportant. He would know he was there when he had arrived.
He threw his treasure out in front of him, as far as he could. It hit the ground and bounced and trickled on ahead of him. His feet felt the earth beneath him. His face felt the sun above him. And he continued to run.
When he finally stopped he felt calm. He took a moment to compose himself. He gave thanks, as he always did, for his treasure. Every day he was grateful for this gift which had been given to him. He thought of those who were not as lucky as he was. He hoped that one day they too would find their treasure. And then he began.
He glided and turned and danced, elegant and graceful. His body moved without instruction. He did what felt natural, and his treasure stayed glued to his foot. He shimmied and shuffled. He was alone yet surrounded by people. He could hear the roars of the crowd yet at the same time pure and utter silence.
He changed direction and began to sprint. He was running on clouds. His feet were a blur. This was his moment. He struck his treasure with all the strength he had and watched as it sailed into the air and began to fall and hit the earth with a gentle thud.
He caught his breath.
He went over to inspect his treasure, and there it was, just as it had been before. No cracks or tears or breaks. Because his treasure was a ball. Not just any ball. This was his ball, and this ball represented everything. It was his past, his present and his future all rolled into one. It was his own personal time machine. It held his hopes and his dreams. It took him from his reality to his fantasy.
This ball was beauty. This ball was unity. This ball was passion. This ball was pride. This ball was family. This ball was home.