Where I come from, the sight of deep, vast water outside your home is no big deal. Riding a boat and paddling through the flood is more an everyday thing than running. I rarely touch the ground with my feet. The wobbly feeling of being buoyed up by dark, cloudy water is more familiar than standing on stable earth.

It has been like this since I was born. Ours is a basin in the middle of a city: when it rains, we catch all the water, and for some reason, it never goes away.

My mother would always tell us that we don’t have much, so we must make do with what we have. I don’t really get it. Waking up to the reflection of the sky outside your doorstep isn’t “making do.” This is so much more than what other people enjoy. This is a journey. Every day is an adventure. I don’t mind if I don’t have a place to run like the other kids do. My home is a vast ocean with a million hidden treasures I have yet to discover.

Each day, I bring my mother a souvenir from my day’s expedition. A water lily, a paper boat, a small tilapia. Sometimes, it would be stories. She absolutely loves them. I know, because whenever I tell them to her, her eyes would, for a moment, resemble the ripples of water outside our home. She’d run her fingers through my hair and tell me how I’d sail a bigger world one day, and I would finally be able to get whatever my heart desires.

Maybe she doesn’t know I already do now.


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