Lily is asleep now. I caress her hairs once more—something she does not allow me to do when she is awake, because it reminds her of how these hairs will fall out, blown away like dandelion seeds. I am not sure she understood much of the story I told her, but it does not matter. To her, the important thing is that the stories are there; that there are possibilities; that I can create things where first there was nought. That she can believe in this, and sleep.
I often think of the sound of her breathing. At night. It is so rhythmic that it could very well be a distant, innocent ocean embracing and releasing sand in warmth. Here is peace. Quiet. I want to spread myself out over the world as a blanket. Spread myself out over Lily and protect. Here, now; forever. She is so small.
I imagine a few rays of sun slicing through the thick chemical air outside, reaching her face, her hands. Here is warmth.
Embrace, and release."