We traveled about two hours deeper into the heart of Nebraska to find a new place to play. We landed at the Island Oasis of Grand Island about 2:30PM. Shortly after that the kids disappeared. They dissolved into the wave pool and became one with the water. It’s 4:30 now and I’ve got my eyes trained on the slides and ropes and floats before me, but there is no sign of them. I give it another half an hour and then I might have to leave my perch and find them.
Being left to my mind with nothing else to occupy it has sparked quite a few beginnings. Quite a few wide roadways I could start down in search of a narrower, winding path to somewhere that matters more than this open road.
I’ve met someone recently that sparks my interest very much in multiple ways and I’m almost afraid to peek down such a beautiful side street. In the quiet of my present moment I’m standing by the streetlight that shins it’s soft warm glow on the entrance to that yet untraveled road. I grab the pole and swing round it slowly, letting the momentum of my body take me 360 degrees from where I started.
After one complete revolution I peer over my shoulder and impossibly there’s another street on the opposite side from where I’m standing. Another completely separate avenue of undiscovered possibilities. I wonder to myself how there could be two roads here at this juncture. I take a quick walk back across the wide Main Street to peer down the second road and see how far I can see. Not far.
The natural daylight is waning and the tiny street lamps along this stretch are no match for the darkness that’s growing. Still, what I can see appears lovely. Then I find myself turning my head from side to side to see each of the new roads I have discovered in turn. So different and yet equally as enticing and beautiful.
At the moment I’m quite content to just stand here and daydream about what my future travels might be like. In my head I’ve already wandered down the first road a little ways and stopped to smell a few of the blue wildflowers growing not far off the path. The air is filled with the scent of bread baking and there is a slight breeze brushing over my shoulders. It all feels positively amazing.
The other road is a little tougher to imagine but when I’m thinking about it, for some reason I’m filled with satisfaction and a sense that all is right with the world. There’s no sensory inputs, just intuition.
The sun is completely set now and such a chill has risen in the air that I can’t linger here any longer. I must return to reality and collect my things and go.
As if by magic or the sheer will of the universe to make my thought a reality, one of my children has re-appeared before me, emerged from the depths and she has also come to feel the same cold creeping in. She’s soaking wet and ready to leave. I’m sure I’ll have to go fetch the other myself, as he’s immune to the cold and will not probably notice for hours that the sun has gone down or that his belly is empty. That’s a true wanderer.
We turn and leave with smiles on our faces. As I exit the scene I can’t help but look back over my shoulder again and bid farewell to the two untraveled roads I have discovered. I know it will not be long before I’m back again.