The little boy, my son, on his belly and knees with his arms by his side, is gently resting his cheek on sheets, not foreign sand. His eyes are closed in slumber, not death. The sweet ebb and flow of his breathing, like the tides, is a safe, secure rhythm of survival.
I, his mother, watch him through eyes bleary with tears, not sea water. My breath is shallow not because I am fighting for my life, but because I do not have to. We will live tomorrow. We are so safe. Our comfort is decadent. My rage roils in gray waves and retreats under the white foam of despair.
The little boy, OUR son, was carried in waters too shallow to ferry the suffering of his people to the hearts of those who could have saved him. His lifeless body, delivered by the water, was a bottled message from humanity to humanity: "There are no separate shores."
The salty ocean of the world's grief can drown our apathy and wash us anew in compassion. We can respond before another person is thrown overboard without dignity. We can cradle this child in our hearts, his dead mother and brother, his bereaved father, his family left behind, his people - our family left behind, our people.
May this holding keep us from throwing our hands up. May our children, the living, breathe easier tomorrow because we have sent them a fleet of lifeboats. May our children, the dead, forgive us our evils.
The spanses of Earth's water are not walls, but channels. May we seek to traverse the distance with our hearts and walk together on new shores where children play, where they wonder what beauty their lives may hold, where they fall asleep in peace under the stars.