“I like the sun,” she said, “but sometimes it hurts my eyes.” She put a hand up to shield the top of her face as she kept looking at the sky.
I looked over at her small form. Her long, black hair spread out around her head forming a dark halo that contrasted with the grass. She was wearing a neon-green top with large, hot pink stars on it that matched the hot pink of her shorts. Her fingers and toes glittered with sparkly nail polish that mirrored the sparkly studs in her ears. I smiled. At this age, she still liked everything bright.
I followed her example and put my hand up to my face and looked up. Around the sun, the clouds were wispy streaks of white against a deep-blue sky.
“Do you see any shapes in the clouds?” I asked her.
She shook her head. “Not today. They’re too light.”
I nodded. “Yes, the clouds are barely there today.”
“But they are going fast,” she added. “Faster than yesterday.”
“Yes,” I agreed.
We continued watching as the clouds drifted by. Soon a larger cloud moved over the sun, and we dropped our hands from our faces.
“How is the sun where we are going?” she asked.
“What do you mean?”
“How is the sun? Is it very bright? Is it out a lot?”
“I suppose it’s a lot like it is here,” I answered. “Sometimes it’s out and big and bright. Sometimes it’s covered by clouds. Sometimes you can’t see the sun for days.” I shrugged and added, “It just depends.”
“OK,” she said simply.
After a moment she continued. “What about everything else? Is it the same as it is here?”
I sat up and turned to face her. Her eyes shifted from looking calmly at the sky to looking expectantly at me.
“No,” I said. “It’s not the same. A lot of things are very different.”
“Different how? Better?”
“Somethings are better, and some are things worse.”
Her black eyes were intent on me, waiting for more.
“I think most things will be better in some ways and also worse in some ways,” I tried to explain. “Almost nothing will be just better or just worse.”
She furrowed her brow and frowned.
I reached out my hands to her. She grabbed them and pulled herself up and into my arms. She rested her head on my shoulder, her gaze now looking down at the grass.
“I don’t understand that,” she said.
The large cloud moved and the sun was bright and hot on our heads again.
“I know you don’t understand,” I said softly. “But soon you will.”