Last night I had a dream.

Dear Cheeku,

Last night I had a dream. In a pond a frog suddenly jumped and you broke out into gleeful laughter. Your hair were disheveled, your glasses were slipping down the bridge of your nose, your flip flops were wrapping your feet, your jeans were hanging from your lean frame…where were we? I remember trying to recognise the place but I couldn’t. It was cool and pleasant, it couldn’t have been summer time. I tried to ask you but your eyes just twinkled with amusement and you pointed to the spot where the front had submerged disturbing the stillness of the pond…then I woke up.

Do dreams mean anything? Are they a message from across the dimensions, the place where the boundaries of this world and the other cease to be?

You left many many years ago to a world yet unknown to me. How many years Cheeku? In number of years it would be twelve, isn’t it? But look at the strangeness of it when years go by but the time stands still. Years layer one over the other and lives of everyone around changes, mine to. Existential issues, survival, hope and disappointment, success and failure, winning and losing…how they add one of the other as the years layer over. But within, in that corner where the frog jumps and you laugh, time stands still. That doesn’t change, your crinkled amused eyes look at me with the same joy as they did the last time we were walking the streets of London together in October 2004. I go back again and again to the bench in front of the dolphin fountain in the Hyde Park where we sat together as the Japanese tourist took our picture-son showing father the London he loved.

How do I feel today? Is it a remembrance day, the day you left for another pilgrimage of joy? I cannot understand how I feel. But is it important to understand? I would rather feel your presence around me, in all those beautiful faces of those who love you, in the twinkle of the wind chimes as it dances in the wind, in the buzz of the bumble-bee, in the sight of the dome adorning Humayun’s tomb…

Yes, but I do sense your presence and your absence…so beautifully said in this poem by David Whyte

The Wave

You arrived as a ripple of change emanating

from an original, unstoppable,

memory, a then made now,

entirely yourself, found now in the world,

now as creator of that world,

you were a signature written in sand

taken by the ocean and scattered

to another wave form, your disappearance

only made more beautiful

by the everyday arrival of a tide

where my voice can still join yours,

hungering for the fall of water,

so that walking the reflected sand,

I set myself to learn by your going,

knowing across death’s wide ocean,

the ultimate parallel to friendship.

Love

Dad

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