The dreams of Saturn

It was a cool winter afternoon, the air thick with fog, and a sharp nip. I was walking along, following a haphazard trail of my memories, when I overheard this conversation, between a father and his little son, ahead of me. “What are those rings around Saturn, dad?” I smiled. Rocks, of course, I thought.

The dad replied with a small story. “A long time ago, Saturn was filled with people, just like you and me! They used to play, go to work, eat lots of ice cream, go to bed on time and all that. But,” the dad paused. He somehow looked careworn all of a sudden. “They also had this very peculiar habit” he said. “What habit?” The dad carried his child and continued, “The people of Saturn wanted to live just like all their neighbours. They wanted to be just like each other. So, they threw away their dreams. Every single one of them. All these dreams floated out into the sky and waited, hoping that maybe someone might need them. Slowly, the dreams collected dust and sulked around the planet. That’s how Saturn got its rings. It became so dusty, that the people couldn’t live there anymore. They had to move to a different planet. They found the Earth, and have lived here, ever since.”

The boy erupted into questions, asking if he was a descendant of Saturn, if he was an alien and so on. I was stunned and frozen, the story heavier than the air around me. As the father disappeared from my view, I saw his walk, slowed down by the weight of his child and of his lost dreams.

We’re not like the people of Saturn… Are we? But, all of us have that one dream that just collects dust with every minute. Hidden in our thoughts, lurking in our eyes, or locked away with apprehension and despair. We’re all, in a way, filling up our atmosphere with all these untouched dreams and someday, it might get too hard to breathe.

It’s quite a depressing cycle. We shoulder somebody else’s idea of a dream and throw away our own. In doing so, we also throw away the ability to believe in things, leading a life full of something we don’t really care about.

Our dreams get heavier and dustier, which is perhaps why our breaths come out as sighs instead.

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