“Where are we going now?” The curious little girl, with eyes wide like a cat’s, asked.
Her dad, sitting behind the wheel of the car, gave her a glance through the mirror. The radio playing commercials for a variety of life changing products. His steady hand, removed from the wheel, reached over and turned the frequency to off. Wanting none of those hollow promises, he already had all he needed in life.
Reflected in mirror, the little girl could only see his eyes. Focused on her, his eyes were smiling. Question unanswered, the girl less than amused. Putting on her most stern look, she scolds the man. A child’s attempt at being serious, the man laughs. “Just like your mother” he tells her.
At the mention of mom, a deep yearning stirs. Putting voice to the desire, asking “Where is mommy?”
The man suddenly aware of some hidden knowledge looks momentarily worried. Looking at the clock, he speeds up ever so imperceptibly. A race to out run time. This time; the girl questions, and the man answers. “Right now, she is probably nowhere in particular. And probably not happy for being late.” Thanks, Father time…
Satisfied enough to have her question answered, her attention is drawn to the window. Outside, the car passes by an ocean of green, painting the picture of a forest. No one else to be seen around. The trail sloped upwards, leaving the girl pressed firmly back against her seat. A mountainous climb. Glad she is not walking, her little legs couldn’t make the steep trek. The dirt road kicking up a trail of dust in the wake of where the car passes. The dust flowing down the hill, a dusty, dried up mud slide.
The forests to the side are thick, and under the sheltered roof the floor is dark. Fears begin to rise. Imagination creating all sorts of horrible beasts, and monsters that surely live in the shadows. Bears, and trolls, and werewolves, and the Math teacher (who is certainly a witch).
No longer wanting to go down this road, the girl pleas, “We just came from somewhere, and we have been going places all day. Why do we need to go some place else… can’t we not go there, and instead simply go nowhere?”
The man slows the vehicle down. Ears tuned to hear and obey his daughter’s call, he turns the car.
“We’re already there” He tells her. In a clearing the man parks the vehicle. An emerald meadow. Getting out of the car, he picks the girl up and carries her on his shoulders as he walks the rest of the distance on foot. A princess, seated for her royal procession. Her father seems to be heading to the very peak of this mountain. The final leg of her journey made on the most familiar ride.
At the top, she sees a familiar face. “Mommy!!” She cries out in excitement. Her mother turns, the most beautiful woman the girl has ever seen. At the sight of the two travelers, the woman smiles. Heading out to greet them with arms wide open.
“You are late” mother says, years of practiced scolding perfected into an art. Though the woman’s eyes betraying her lies, reveal a smile in hiding. “I’ve been waiting, where have you two been?” Said to the man.
The girl answers for him; “daddy kept taking us to some stop after another. Place after place, we were always heading to somewhere else.”
“We are here, Now” her father says.
Picking the girl up, the mother says “Come with me, baby, I have something to show you.”
To the edge they walk, the heights of the mountainous clifftop. Pointing out beyond, the girl follows the woman’s fingered direction.
The girl is astounded. Never before has she seen anything so beautiful. From up on this dizzying height, she can see for years. The cliff drop makes is seem like she is in the air, flying. This is what it must be to see as a bird.
Looking out over the forests, she looks and sees everything. The setting sun painting the sky in shades of purples, orange, and pinks. Colouring everything below in the surreal twilight of dusk. Something out of the girl’s drawing book. The entire scene looks unreal. Taking it all in, nothing before has seemed so real.
Entirely enchanted, the girl asks her parents “What is this place, where are we?”
With an arm lovingly around her mother, her father lets out a gentle laugh and says:
“Nowhere, in particular.”