He can hear a rhythm.
One beat after another.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
A heartbeat just a little slower than his own.
Comforting, reassuring, reliable, as he makes this voyage, an exile of sorts, sailing in this amniotic sea, on his way to another world.
Cramped, confined. He was destined for a bigger space than this. A bigger world.
And sounds, so many sounds.
Clangs. Bashes. Sighs. Laughter.
The voices muffled, coming from all around. Loud, quiet, some going on and on.
Words-words-words, words-words-words, words-words-words…
Today she seems happy, and his world expands when she relaxes.
He sways a little, she must be walking, taking him somewhere.
Familiar greetings ring out, voices warm and welcoming, the sound of smiles.
He feels his world tighten, constrict a little.
The voices change, becoming shocked, jarring, angry growls.
His world tightens again. She doesn’t like it, she recoils, he recoils too. Just a little.
Voices grow louder still.
Questions, questions, questions.
Sharply asked with no pause for a reply.
Her heartbeat is going faster. Quickly, quickly rapping out its urgent, snappy rhythm.
Ba-dum ba-dum da-dum ba-dum da-dum ba-dum da-dum ba-dum da-dum ba-dum da-dum.
He doesn’t like it.
Where are those soft smiling voices now?
A sob and he starts to sway again, she’s moving quickly, the muffled voices fade away to nothing.
The sway slows and stops.
A little bump as she comes to rest somewhere.
Another sob or two, and then another sound.
Music. He likes music. Singing, she’s singing.
A peaceful song, he can feel her relax again, and the song takes him to another place.
The dawn of time, ancient, ageless.
For a moment he is no longer in that confined sea, but in an endless, bright place of space.
Stars spark up from nothing, angels dance, his Father speaks, sing-song words of wonder.
Planets come to life. Dust piles become people. There is light, laughter and splendour everywhere.
She stops singing. He is suddenly back again, on that amniotic sea.
And he senses something, this world will soon pass. He is going to leave it behind.
Enter another place, where he will have to learn again.
How to be, how to live.
And he will at last see her, face to face.
The heartbeat, the mother who is carrying him.