“Mommy look!” little Charlotte squealed.
“Honey, I possible cannot! Can’t you see that I am driving here?” asked the mother, with a lovely smile.
“But mommy, it is so pretty. You must look. If you don’t, you’ll miss it” came the cute, sugary, muffled reply. On the rear view mirror, the mother saw the little girl’s chubby face pressed flat against the window shield. Her eyes gawked at something far away. The short, quick exhales and the throbbing veins were hard to miss, particularly by a mother. So she decided to pull over her run down a station wagon. Anyway, it was not like they were in any hurry. There was still plenty of time till 8, when her appointment was due. Besides, it had been a while since she had spent some quality time with her seven year old kid.
She pulled over by a towering old tree by the road. After she unfastened the seat belt of her daughter, she picked her up and walked away from the car. Only after they were comfortably seated on a flat rock facing the fields, did their conversation resume.
“Mommy see, that’s what I wanted to show you,” her gaze shifted to where her daughter’s tiny right hand pointed. She wasn’t all that sure what excited her daughter so much. But going by an intuition, she decided to talk to her about the only thing that she thought might be worth getting excited so much.
“Oh that! That’s simply an old house where the people lived. Actually I think people still live there. See the smoke from the chimney, that huge pipe on top of the house? Yeah, people are still living there. We are in the country side…”
She was cut off by her daughter’s vigorous shake of her head. “No mommy, not the home, the thing after it, see?”
This time she realized exactly what had excited her daughter so much. But of course, kids are always excited by the prospect of a horizon; the imaginary place of immense attraction. Technically, it does not even exist. But how was she supposed to put that thought across to a child? After a few minutes of silence she decided not to shatter the beauty of imagination in her beautiful little mind with blatant truths.
“Oh! The horizon! How silly of me! I should have told you earlier. You see baby, the horizon is the only place in the world, where the big huge sky meets our strong earth. If you look closely, you’ll see that the sky is actually kissing the ground.”
“Mommy?” asked Charlotte with mischief twinkling in her blue little eyes “Is the sky in love with the earth?”
With the old childish gleam returning to her eyes she replied “Baby, did I not tell you that story? Oh how silly of me, dear! You see Earth loved Sky so much that she asked him if she could marry him. But since Sky was scared of his father, he said no. Sky had also been in love with earth, but was too scared to ask his father. Seeing how sad Earth became on hearing it, Sky promised her two things. One was that the Sky would never ever marry anybody else because only Earth was there in his heart. The second was that every morning and night, Sky would come over to kiss Earth good morning and good night. Sun, seeing how happy they were together, secretly presented them with beautiful colors whenever they kissed. Every other time, they continued to stay together, in spite of Sky’s father, because they knew that they needed each other.”
The exclamations that followed this charming story of a horizon would have filled the heart of any soul on earth. The innocence of children, a god given gift, set them on a pedestal that augmented the beauty of their hearts and the nobility of their thoughts. The charm is lost, as slowly the imagination is pushed aside by raw facts, hard truths; in simpler words, life. Only those who truly admire the children for their innocence, sense a guilt that they too had let go of innocence in exchange for a glorious life weighed down with success.
Charlotte couldn’t take her eyes off of the horizon. The shade of orange and red that mixed with the watery blue of the sky filled in her a certain glee. God seemed to be benevolent to her, for at that moment twilight stepped into play. Needless to say, her awe evolved into bliss. The disappearing sun, the warm breeze weighed down with the aroma of petunias and the visual treat prepared for her by the god of the sky, filled in her such warmth, that her mother could feel the joy enveloping her baby.
The mother’s mind on the other hand was at peace. She had just helped her see, one of the greatest sights of nature. She felt proud, content. She smiled, both within and on the outside, and hugged her daughter tight to her bosom. There they sat staring at the disappearing horizon.
A famous quote flashed in her mind, as she felt her baby snug in comfortably on her lap, still staring at the miracle of the sky,” Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”
Half an hour later she saw Charlotte, comfortably asleep, hugging the teddy bear close to her heart. The destination was still an hour away, giving the mother enough and more time to recollect her fantastic life with her baby. Though her husband had left her with the baby when she was nine months pregnant, she never blamed him for doing so. He never wanted to cheat on her. His mother, who had been widowed at that time, being the ultimate opportunist that she was, used the situation to emotionally blackmail him to leave with her to Britain. Seeing how poorly he was placed between his beloved and his mother, she decided to make the choice easier for him. She fought with him one night for a reason as silly as pizza and walked out of his life, knowing completely well that she might have as well chosen to drive a knife into his heart. But for her, his eventual happiness was worth every bit of struggle that she was bound to deal with.
She had walked away from a wonderful life and the sacrifice had to mean something. Sacrifices are wails of a baby that definitely receive a kiss of love from its mother. Here too, the law of nature was heeded. Life’s challenges to her were more like a charger’s electric shock to Zeus; at least at first. There had been situation is her life when she felt the void beside her. But like all mortals, she too had been bestowed with the gift of survival. She adapted to her new life slowly but surely. And this journey was yet another landmark in her solitary battle with life. Every penny saved by walking, every dollar earned through toil, added to her sizeable credit for an abode. The ride was to the new little house that she had bought, away from the competitive world, in a secluded countryside, where her baby and she could lead a beautiful life encumbered with love and care.
Another milestone, another victory, another stage of life…
It had been years since she first stepped into this heavenly home of hers. The beauty and the splendor of the sweet place still remained. She may no longer be a child; the innocence might have crept away as time casts its evil eye on all but the infants. But the inner beauty that was sown years ago by her mother had spread into a magnificent angel within her, making her a human, more than a lady of high stature. Even today, as she stares out into the yellow maize that dances away to its hearts’ delight in the wind, she believes in her ideals. The sight of her mother’s grave opens a weir of emotions, but only ephemerally. She sips her warm coffee and hauls herself upon an old bent tree. There she drains her cup as nature unravels the most stupendous of sights before her. Like a page torn from an old love story, she witnesses for a millionth time, the sight- the sight of love, of hope, of a new beginning-the sight of the age old love story between the sky and the earth. Yet another horizon reveals its majesty before her, filling her with the drive to succeed. Like yesterday and every other day for the past decade, she understood yet again, the source of her mother’s zeal, to push forward in her life- it was the hope of a new horizon. The sun, little Charlotte, had presented colors in her life to glorify that special horizon.
And just like that there came the new horizon …
Afar, beyond the wisdom of common man,
Resides Horizon, ever joyous.
Unknown, to the eyes of you and me,
He is the being of hope renewed.
The personification of birth, he lives,
A broker of Sky and earnest Earth,
An age old story of love unraveled,
Where wisdom falls, love reigns.
Every new horizon is a scope of change
Of birth of joy, of love of life,
Feel the rays of twilight horizon,
Relish the light, relish the love.