The sea was pecking at the flotsam and jetsam along a rill on the beach.Old plastic bottles , drifting wood and the small body of a sleeping little boy. He slept so peacefully and quietly as though he might be dead. What did that image remind me of ? Yes …now I recall. There was that elephant fleeing from drought….a mother tugging lightly at her small calf with the delicate tip of her trunk; turning the small body over …this way and that to awaken her offspring.She would never be able to awaken her tiny calf ,of course. The little one had expired in the heat of the sun, dehydrated and too tired to live any longer.The remainder of the herd were forced to move on and the mother would have to follow or suffer a similar fate or be taken by lions .
The little boy was not sleeping and it was a surfeit of water that had done for him. The sea had scooped him up, filled his lungs with her cool salted refreshment and killed him as quietly as she was able . That small rubber dingy wasn’t much use to her , but the child’s mother and little brother might do just fine .What had conspired to gift her with these new offerings she soughed benignly , a tuneless banshee , as she left the boy back to the land as tenderly as she could …pushing him gently back onto the land.He’d be safer there.
He was dressed much as your own child or grandchild might be, as he or she cavorted in the garden with a bucket and spade or while she helped you water the flowers endlessly…..innocently chattering and singing to the world. Dressed just as any unblemished child might be dressed in little shorts, red T-shirt and trainers. This small boy was called Aylan Kurdi. He died between Syria and the Greek island of Kos, washing up at a Turkish beach resort.The sea had become the final sanctuary for many. . What horror was he and his parents attempting to flee from that was even worse than consigning themselves to the sea’s hungry maw in a small inflatable boat?
They were running away…refugees.The Irish know about refugees.Those refugees helped build America.
While some of us in Norneverland would prefer to play at the political game for short -term gain and for base entertainment and finances while talking in an endless moebius loop of semantic riddles , some others are being pushed to the edge of their lands for safety ,into the wash of the sea.Some are left bereft like the surviving father of this small family while others squabble about the cost of saving their lives..