The ground was wet that day, she knew it as soon as her eyes fluttered open and she felt her lashes, heavier with the moist air.
Blinking, she gently brushed the thinning blanket off her body and stood up. She was just a small silhouette framed by the doorway – held together only by the cracking mud walls.
Just nine years had just passed since her mother had lain within this very walls, in pain but silent as she had pushed Ayana into the world.
Her mother passed unheard, and it was her sister who bathed the baby and carried her away, welcoming one life in exchange for another. It was not long after, that Ayana saw her own sister lowered into the Earth. She did not cry.
She shared her home with some younger children – lost little souls who would not have even lived to see the coming of their fifth year if she hadn’t taken them in and fed them what little she had.
The seeds she planted – digging until the dry Earth gave way to a hint of moisture – rarely grew, and it was a fortunate day when a sprout could be seen. What she longed for was not the wetness deep underground which would not seep up to nourish her plants but the drops of rain that would cultivate them from above.
And today her prayers had been answered, and she looked on in disbelief at her sprouts – soaking up the drops, relishing in their relief.
Ayana’s plight is not uncommon, the strength of these children to carry on is just admirable and a testament to our abilities, as humans, to persevere through hardship, never giving up hope.