I began to notice her powers when I was maybe 4 or 5. She could wash the sky of its dark threatening clouds and make the sun shine. She said it was a gift and glowed with magic when she showed her power. She became hypnotic and swayed about the room touching photo frames and ornaments lightly humming softly.
I loved her in those moments. She made the earth brighter than our squalid flat would allow. The front room shone brightly until my gran made her appearance. She would burst through the door yelling to stop, shouting obscenities and calling her crazy. My gran always knew how to quench her light. She made her smaller. The brightness would suddenly disappear; the music and magic drifted out the small window, passed the snotty-nosed kids playing on the stairs, out the tower door and across the city, to another place where no one had to live in flats and water down the milk.
When I was 16 I knew I had the gift too, to make the the rain stop and add strokes of green and blue across the city sky. Green was the colour of hope my mother had always said, so anywhere I went, I would mix a little green in to shelter the city under a dome of hope. It was my gift.