She stared across the expanse of the sea. It seemed to go on and on forever, unending. As the waves pulled back and forth, back and forth, her feet sank deeper and deeper into the sand at the edge of the shore. The soaking wet sand seemed to be so strong, there would be no pulling her feet out; a reminder of the bondage this child was under.
Oh, how she longed for freedom, but she was a slave, tossed around by the blowing winds of the sea. As the ocean stretched before her eyes, this little girl imagined what was beyond. Her eyes were closed, picturing a city where her face could be seen. One where she could run and play with all the little girls and boys of the world, with no fear of what tomorrow would bring. Here, in this place though, she could not play with anyone. Her nation was torn by war, there was to be no playing in the streets. The streets were flooded with terrorism, torture, and fear. A fear which was so great, no one felt they could stand against those holding this nation captive.
“It’s funny how fear works,” she silently said to herself, “it will saturate this world and either bring it together, or divide lands.”
She knew that the majority of her nation was infected by the unhealthy fear. The type that paralyzes a person, the type that kills conviction before it can spring forward in a revolt against the injustices faced in this world. This fear was drilled in through chaining tactics, ways to destroy the freedoms which belong to mankind. Her education had been taken away, as had her rights to enjoy the beauty of the world without being scrutinized against. Even for just being along the shore of the sea, she would probably hear her name listed out as one who does not truly believe. And since education had been taken away, fear inflicted would blind everyone to believe she truly was at fault.
Yet as this child stood, staring out at the waves, she knew it was time to cross the ocean to the land of freedom. Attempting to lift her leg, she realized it was still trapped in the sand. It took all the energy in her to rip her feet out of the captivating sand. Finally, she pulled free, and the minuscule grains filled in the hole where her feet had been.
Slowly and with a slight tremor, a leg lifted, reaching out deeper into the water. The tips of her toes brushed the water, afraid to put the rest of her foot upon the bobbing water. The blast of a gun rung out somewhere in the city of bondage behind her, the force pushing her foot down onto the water. The girl felt her arch slam against a tiny sea shell, sending a scratching sensation up her right leg. But now that she was a few feet in, there was no turning back. A surge of courage rang through her at the sound of horror rang from behind. Her left leg did not tremble as it lifted, and did not touch the ground as it pressed down to earth. Instead it remained, sturdy into the water, which was now a silent sea. The ocean shore no longer floated back and forth, back and forth, but was still. This little girl was fearless.
Her other leg followed, also floating above the waves. She was walking on water, no longer subject to the sand and waves. Everywhere she stepped, the sea was immediately at peace, the way the world was meant to be. As she walked closer and closer to the land of freedom, she stood on top of her captivity and slavery with a joyful air, not angry, but instead taking in the beauty of her surroundings, the beauty and thrill of being able to stand against every other voice.
A seagull flew across the sky, calling out, “Turn back! The land is back there. You won't make it. It is too far away. You have to turn back.” She knew her’s was a dangerous cause, but it was worthwhile, even if she did not make it; even if no one else followed. Yet looking back on the dangerous land, she saw a figure taking off his sandals, preparing to walk out with her. Delight filled her at the sight of more and more people getting ready to walk into the waves with her. The march was being made ready, the march across the waters into freedom.
Miles and miles had been crossed, and there was no more land to be seen, just thousands of miles of the ocean, stretched out before her. There were no longer seagulls up above, her home was too far away. The minute her feet stood upon the water, there would be no turning back. The new land had to be reached.
Suddenly, a piece of paper blew to her through the breeze. Little hands reached out to capture it, before it sank to the ocean floor. It was a note addressed to her. Stopping in her tracks, she carefully unfolded it. The sky grew dark, and a loud explosion could be heard off in the distance. The water slowly began to bob again.
The paper read, “You are too young to make a change. So don’t even try. If you do not stop, you will lose your life.”
Instantly, a hole in the sea opened up, swallowing this little girl whole. The waves were a roaring storm, crashing together, pulling her deeper and deeper to the ocean floor. Fear began to pulse through her. She felt alone, she was drowning with no one to come and save her. She tried to cry out for help, but no one answered. Yet as she sank further and further she could not help but feel sorrow that the waves did not give a chance for her to explain why she was marching. Why she had to stand against her nation’s slavery. Yet it was too late now. She had a feeling that if the waves tumbled upon her, they would tumble upon everyone who followed a few miles behind. This brought a great surge of sadness upon her. This weight of emotions was too big for a single little girl to carry alone.
Out of nowhere, a hand reached through the pulsing waters.
A voice called out saying, “Take my hand.”
The little girl had no idea who waited above, but the voice sounded so familiar, she knew it was okay to grab the hand. It was only a few feet above, and it took all her might to swim against the warring currents to take it. But as soon as she did, a hole to above opened up, and light shone through to this child. She was hoisted up into the open air, straight into the arms of her father. As he hugged her, she gulped the salty air into her lungs, and began to sob.
Rarely had she ever cried before. She needed to be seen as the strong one. Yet there, sitting on top of the now calm sea, she cried all the weight which had been carried alone, out of her, passing it onto her father, who cried in harmony.
“It’s okay, my daughter. You are not alone. You are here, with me, and we will make the march of freedom together.”
And with that, she stood up, and looked around. A crowd of people had gathered, all ready for the words she had to give. With that, she realized a second life had been given as a gift to her. She knew she was meant to finish the task, the path set before her.
She stood up, and with a loud voice shouted, “Amidst the silence, one voice will roar. So let's all stand together as one, and complete this march. We cannot let the waves stand against us, we will walk into freedom!”
With these powerful words spoken, a new wave surged forward. But this wave did not come from any fear felt, it came from the thousands of feet which touched the water as one. Together the mass let out a shout of courage, and was carried by the wave, the young girl leading the way, holding her father’s hand.
Inside she knew they would make it. The fight would be won. Much would be lost, but the things that truly matter would be gained. It would take years for them the reach the shore of freedom, but for now the girl was comforted by the birds she now saw in the sky, revealing how close this land was.