Dear Participating Youths of 2003,
I feel sorry that you woke up this morning with the ocean in your head, but for what it’s worth, I’d like to tell you that I’ve been living with the ocean for so long. I feel how you feel.
If I were your fingers, I would already look like prunes after soaking myself in saltwater for thirty years. But why am I still here?
A wise man said that if you want to create sailors, don’t send them to the forest to gather wood and build a ship. Instead, let them long for the deepest sea.
I’ve been travelling ever since. But the ocean still remains a mystery to me. I still find it difficult to understand its temper and moods.
Now, we only have a day or two to spend together. I will go back as an empty box floating without a star to reach for. You are all my paddles and we both long for that one island of peace and unity. I have been a wishing well for all your dreams.
Tonight, I want to share the sky with you. I want to console myself with the thought that as we part, we’ll always share the same moon. For as long as there are seas, I will always reach you. Let the waters be the bond between our souls.
Tonight, I hope the stars would reflect the memories we share with each other. In the dark sky, let them paint a picture of our experiences.
I will always remember how you ran around me to smell the morning air, how you gathered in my arms singing songs, and how you discovered my secret pockets, and spent perhaps, the best times of your life.
I can only hope that these empty halls of mine would house the echoes of your laughter and songs, and would rock me once in a while in my silent moments.
For tonight, let the waves of goodbye transport us to that place where we fear to tread on, but eventually we will reach there. And yes, let your smile be a boat in the ocean of our memories.
For tonight, let me cradle your first steps toward your dreams.
For tonight, let me experience seasickness.
Let me savor the saltiness of tears. Let me cry.
Yours in memory and experience,