With Meeko at one with the tree and the ocean of night above, I watch in disbelief as the ground beneath us crumbles. At first, I’m convinced that an earthquake is the only viable reason this could be, but when the roots of the tree emerge through broken chunks of asphalt, the nature of things becomes clear, even if the meaning is obscured by the limitations of my conditioned mind. As easily as a spoon cutting through warm glue, the roots lift themselves free of the crumbling remains of the courtyard. Curling like tentacles as if belonging to some Leviathan from the deep, I can almost smell the seaweed and centuries-old barrels of rum swimming in misery at having never been drunk. Shards of rock fly in every direction, nicking my cheeks like the blade of a knife, and as the roots break through, so what was once just another day becomes something else entirely, and what was once a story of a boy and a girl just like any other boy and a girl, it becomes a tale I thought only possible in books. Moving forwards as if piggybacking on the shoulder of a giant, Meeko’s song is at harmony with the tree’s, and in her words, I hear the crashing waves of Kanagawa alongside the exhaling lungs of a forest where there exists a light that never dims.