Painted Lives

My people were creators. They painted the life they saw around them. Animals. Women. Children. The grasses blowing long in the fields.

They painted lives with what we had available: berries, stones that smeared color, mud, plant juices. Sometimes they used blood.

Life was not easy, but it was beautiful.

Our lives were saved and documented for our children and our children’s children for generations to come.

But the waters receded.

Our plants faded into brown and into sands.

We lost our berries and our plant juices. Our animals died away or moved to greener lands.

The waters kept receding into dust and dirt and sand and deaths.

Too many deaths.

We had to make a choice. Stay and die. Or walk through the barren lands in search of green.

We left.

I have grown older and wiser in many ways.

Yet, still I long to see our lives painted on those walls, saved upon those walls for our children and their children and all of their generations to see.

They will never see it.

Those painted walls are too far away. The journey back is too long.

Except at night.

I close my eyes and I see once more our ancestors and their children’s children inked and bled into the wall.

Though I have many years behind me and so few before me, I will go back there some day.

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