Ania

Ania was in the light. The light was all there was. It and her were one.

Ania was a toddler, clutching her mother’s leg. She was small and ever dependent on the mercy and love of the world. She could not defend herself from it’s cruelty.

 Ania was sitting at her mother’s side, in the big field with the tall, green grass. She was enraptured by a nigh sky so full of stars it was almost white. Eyes wide, Ania reached her little hand to the stars, as if to catch some and hold them in her palm.
Her mother saw this and laughed, looking away from the telsescope and putting down her notes and pulling Ania into her lap.
“You can’t reach them baby; there way up in the sky.”
Her mother than kisses her Ania’s silken, blonde head.
 Ania was asleep in her mother’s arms as she walked up the stairs to the nursery. She was at peace, warm against her mother’s breast, unafraid of anything in the world. Her mother’s heart beat was the rhythm of her dreams.
 Ania dreamed of God, impossible and tall and up in the sky, watching us as we, like insects, marched about at his feet. We are all children before him, for we depend on his love and mercy, for none of us defend ourselves against his cruelty.
 Her mother and father were kissing. Mother’s belly was full and round and plump.
“Mama, why are you so big?” Ania asked.
“Because you’re going to be a big sister.”
“There’s a baby in there?”
“Yes.”
“How?” Ania wanted to know.
Both her mother and father laughed, and her mother ran a hand through Ania’s silken blonde hair, and then stroked her cheek.
“Don’t worry about that now baby.”
Ania was left wondering at the baby inside her mother, and how that could be.
 And that was how it could be. Health class sophmore year. Though she understand how children were made, so much about sex still remained baffling. Why was her best friend, who was almost a brother to her, acting so strange and looking at her with that hungry light in his eyes? Why were the boys all becoming so strange?
 A friday night and Ania was alone. She had one of her father’s old cassettes of Wagner playing on cheap headphones. She lay in the field were her and her mother used to come. Anymore though, Ania wanted to come by herself. It was at the edge of autumn and the air was crisp and the grass cool. As Isolde passed on from the mortal world Ania watched the sky above and all those wonderous stars, wondering at the immensity of it, and at what God thought of her now that things were so changed.
 She did not know what the light wanted, but she felt warm and at peace within it. The light moved over her like God moving over the face of the still waters.
 Ania was on a hill, watching the shuttle lift up and into the sky, the nightime darkness ravaged and bleeding bright, burning colors. She dreamed that one day she would ride like a valkryie up into the stars.
 All those years of dedication, hard work and sacrifice were paying off. Ania had been accepted into the National Space Service. She had opened the letter and her parents were now embracing her. There bodies were thin and there skin as thin as paper. How could these be the strong gods who had given her life and watched over her? How could her bubba now be a grown man, making preparations for his wedding day?
 Ania floated into the vaccum. All she heard was the clicking of her regulator. If she become disconnected from the ship, she would be lost and would float out into the emptiness of space forever.
 And then………..
 …….She was within the light, as if she had always been there, as if there was nothing but the light, and never would be anything else.
Finally, she felt the light move through her.
It was as if the Breath OF God was moving through her. She felt her body stir deep within itself. She heard something like children’s laughing, somewhere just beyond her mind’s eye.
 Back home again, laying in her husband William’s arms after making love. She listened to his heart thump steadily, soothing her as her mother’s once had.
“Something happened while I was up there.” She said.
“What?” William asked.
“I’m not sure. I was touched by something. Maybe I was taken up in a chariot of fire.” She said.
 Ania was a mother. She sat in the open field with the tall green grass, cradling her baby daughter Alma in her arms. Ania looked up into the night sky almost white with so many stars. Her daughter too, looked up into the night sky, and with her little hand tried to reach up to touch it.
“What will come of you baby?” Ania asked, and kissed her baby’s silken blonde head.
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