all night, I dream of water

I dream of water, of floating. The water is dark, but I am not afraid. My mother takes my hand, walks us out into the lake, until the water is up to her waist. She lifts me up, holds her arms out under me. Put your head back, she says, close your eyes.

She says, close your eyes, but I keep them open so I can see the sky. Vast, blue, cloudless. There are people all around us – splashing, shouting – but for this moment, there is just the blue of the sky, the quiet lapping of the water beneath me and all around me.

There is just the blue sky and the water beneath me. And my mother’s arms, holding me there, floating.