i had a meeting with a life coach last week. it was nothing like what i was expecting. but i will write about that at some other point. i want to share part of the homework i was given -or as she called it “soul work.”

the assignment was to write every day for ten minutes from the flow consciousness of little Sarahí (five-years-old to be exact). i couldn’t edit. i couldn’t go back and move anything. it was just ten minutes of non-stop writing as if little Sarahí had been given a crayon and told to go at the walls with confidence.

i’ve always been a good student. so i did my assignments. though i don’t have to submit it. this was just for me. this was tough. a lot harder than i thought. i mean, i am a writer. it’s what i do when i am not working for that job that pays the rent. so i thought this would be “simple.”

so i wrote. and i cried. and i wrote some more. and i cried. i was angry. i laughed. a lot. recalling and reliving moments that reminded me that i had a horrific and beautiful fifth year. and i laughed. and cried.

if we can look at a part of our life for ten minutes and put ourselves in that exact moment, you can savor bitter sweet events. you can smell the air of the times. hear the sounds like classics. you can see smiles. faces. clothes colors. but the only thing you can’t do is touch.

i couldn’t touch little Sarahí. that was the most difficult part of this assignment. i couldn’t hold her. i wanted to hug her. to tell her that everything would be so much different at thirty-three. that the moment was just a moment. but i couldn’t. and the truth is the moment isn’t just a moment. because little Sarahí remains a five-year-old in that time and space for an eternity.

so instead i did what i always do to heal… i wrote to her:

Dear Little Sarahí,

I am sorry that the first thing you think about in this five-year-old moment is that day. I am sorry you carry it in your backpack like it was essential for your walk. None of it was your fault. Not a single part. Let it go little Love. Set your Self free.

I wish you could see your brightness.

Your spirit shines much brighter than the darkness of that day. I wish you knew that when you walk into a room, darkness dissipates. What a beautiful brilliant child you are! Abuela always told you that your light would win the world over; she’s right. It’s your “golden ticket.”

Remember sunny days. Randall’s Island. Night pool. Handball. Softball. Best cousins ever. Church. Sleepovahs’. Central Park. Third Ave. Summers with Manny and David. Dinners with abuela. Christmas. Great Adventure. Action Park. Pigtails. Bofi. Castle Greyskull… surely these days weigh so much more than that day.

You have an amazing ability to recall so much and you will use it when you get older to heal and tell your story. But keep smiling and shining. You are so much light to the infinite power.

Big Sarahí

it is difficult to forgive a time and space you didn’t have control of. it is even more difficult when you feel at fault for that something. but to begin the healing process we must first give the event light, forgive the Self for being hard on the Self, and then let it go. often times we hold on to something so hard, we think it’s holding on to us. we think it’s holding us hostage. when the reality is, we’ve been holding it hostage.

there’s a freedom in freeing your Self from yourself.

…and so begins my process.

three kings day magic

January 6, 2012

the night before,
she stepped out the house
her favorite cousin
holding her hand.
she filled a shoe box with grass
placed it under her bed.

her wishes all her own.

she had the faith
only a six-year-old
would have:
complete trust.

nestled in her heart.
her body filled with excitement.
her little eyes didn’t want to shut.

morning always came gently
on that day…

her heart’s beat
interrupting the stillness
of the morning
she ran to the living room.

live with gifts.

everyone waiting for her.

her smile
painted smiles
on the faces of everyone watching her…

she was surrounded.
wrapped tightly
in the safety of Love.

…but something was missing.

she was very appreciative of all the gifts
the kings had brought… but wondered why
that gift she wanted most was nowhere
to be seen. after all, she trusted, completely.
she believed.

maybe they’d forgotten… maybe.
she thought, what if she didn’t specify
the importance of that one gift?
maybe she should’ve only asked for that.
but it was number one of the list.

she held her dolls. silently thinking
about all of this.
her Titi says, “can you go out back and get
a box in the back room?”

as the little girl entered the back room
her face lit up. her heart raced.
she knew it!
she knew they could not have forgotten
she knew they were kings (three of them)
who made magic happen all around the world.

there it was…
shiny. perfect. with a red bow
on the basket.
exactly what she wanted.

no childhood gift before or after that day
was able to evoke the emotion
of that morning.

she cried.
the ones who Love her laughed.
asking her why.

and with the only innocence of a six year-old
she responded, “they knew i needed this more than anything.”

laughter erupted.

this was her ride to freedom.
this was the way to travel to her friend’s home
down the street… filling the basket
with imagination… she could even get to new york
if she peddled long enough.

on january 6, 1986
the joy that filled
her innocent heart that morning
was so magical,
it still lives in her smile
twenty-six years later.

best childhood gift ever

five more minutes

September 29, 2009

we were kids
when our
silly laughter filled
linen built forts.

our wishes
flying on paper airplanes,
launched from barred windows,
eight stories high.
our imagination
took us around the world.

we made on our own
baseball stadium
in that patch of grass
behind abuela’s building.
hurling newspaper filled curve balls
at duck-taped wiffle bats.
between the tree trunks,
all was fair territory.
over the fence,
a homerun.

and we ran…

chasing squirrels.
playing tag.
hanging on monkey bars.

we played handball.
stuffing chewed gum
onto milk caps,
for another round of skully.

walking down 125th
from west side to east side
to meet up with our cousins
-our best friends.

Titi’s refreshing juice
painted our laughter red.
and that quarter Mami gave us
tucked away in our sneakers
provided sugar filled afternoons
in front of the TV to the tune of

i could live in these memories…
“just five more minutes, please.”

~Sarahi Yajaira, 2009