At five, I discover a new land, hurling my fragile body over the wall. I crash on the pile of sacks and roll into our new country, bordered on a flowing sea we rule in a world forgotten by that around it. The jumbled city had grown too big and too complex and had left gaps, corners unaccounted for, my empire is one such plot. A willow curls down as I sit and survey the ripples in front of me, this harbour is mine. I sit and stare at the brown, creased surface, I do not want to go to bed.
At seven I find a hidden beach, hidden in the middle of the harsh, dry land, hidden from the sea. A clear stream trickles by me. Butterflies fill the air, the sand attracts them. I submerge myself in the water, fully clothed, my hands survey the ground, grabbing the gravel of shiny, clear rocks, I release them, watching them fall in slow-motion from my hands. I will never find this place again. At eleven I walk, bare feet on a damp forest floor, I run off the path to a small waterfall. Water falls into a sunken pool, hidden from the path and surrounded in a leafy green canopy. The water splits into hundreds of tributaries beneath my feet. The magic in this place is palpable, some dark enchantment has been placed upon me. With an intense pressure on my chest and shoulders, I return.
At nine I push myself further and further away from the shoreline, I lose sight of the sand beneath me, replaced by a deep blue. I push myself further, not looking down. Fearful of heights, I cannot look down, I will not fall into the richly coloured deep. I could swim forever in this rhythmic cool. I look around me and feel completely powerless, I have lost sight of the known world. I swim back to the continent, shaking and fearful of a danger I cannot comprehend.
At twelve I throw myself into the chaos, broken and burning my journey leads me to a new frontier. Wading out into biting cold I am tossed, a ragdoll, over and over. I am elated, my body is being moved without effort. I am spinning and gulping and falling but I am not working. I am the first person in history to swim in this place, and thus, it moves itself for me.
At thirteen I stand, listening to the incessant beat of the churning of smooth stones. I look upon the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, untouched and wild. Pale shades lie at my feet, crackling against one another as I walk. I force my eyes to open wider. Intensely I concentrate. Dwarfed by giant boulders of the sea, I walk slowly.
None of this