Born as the son of a farmer, I was never a leader. I was a follower. Following the cows, pigs, chickens, and the rising sun.
At school’s ending, summer was a long vacation from rest. At dawn, my dad used to cough passing the front of my room. Quite long and loud coughs. Then, in darkness, my dad and we five brothers dragged our feet to the rice field. Until sun down.
The sun was long in the field. Summers were everlasting. Strolling through the rice plants in bare feet, I used to wait for the clouds. With the clouds burnt by the sun in blue, blue like an ocean, I dreamed of swimming away. Swimming away from the burnt field. Away. Far far away.
Dark like chocolate, the midsummer sun parched my dream. My feet, swollen in the wet mud, sunk deeper and deeper as the summer got hotter.
I hated farming. I hated the sun. I would do anything to run away from it.
That was then, in Korea.
I, a born follower, after coming to America, was never allowed to follow. I became a leader. Perpetually. Beyond my dreams, I attained everything I have had ever wanted. I traveled all over the world, wrote books, presented, made movies, did research, read about myself in the media, and now I am blogging!
Under the parching summer sun, as a 9 year old boy, it was fun to follow the cows, pigs, chickens, and the rising sun. I hated the sun. But I didn’t hate it that much. I actually miss it. My dad, brothers, the sun, the burning rice field. We were followers. Following something larger, much larger than us, the world, the seasons, the clouds, the sun.
Gone are those hot days in the field. Roaming the world, I wonder if I will ever know where I will end up. Born a follower, how can I stop being a leader? Now, I want to be me. The one I knew under the parching sun. The one who hated the sun. The one who dreamed of running far far away from the rice field.
Nowhere is better than following the cows, pigs, chickens, and the rising sun.