[December 18th. I have to write a blog! But I have no idea what topic I should take. I mention it to my visiting writer friend (who normally lives in Austria) and like magic, she pulls out a set of Story Cubes. She bought them in Sweden as a souvenir but since discovered they are all over the world. Nine dice, each with six symbols. Cast the dice and be inspired, apparently. Well - I'm game! I need a solution to my lack of inspiration. I shake the dice and drop them on the table.
Footprint. Globe. Lightbulb. ID card. Abacus. Flower. Turtle. Cane. Falling star.
Here goes nothing...]
"There's a whole world out there," said the old man as he leaned on his cane. The boy squinted up at him in the hot sun. His grandfather continued. "All you have to do is take one step. Then take another. Pretty soon you'll be somewhere else and if you keep going, why, you might just see every country on earth!"
"Have you seen every country on earth?"
"Oh, not I, my boy. But maybe you will."
The boy dug his toes into the red dirt and peered at the low trees crowding the horizon. "Tell me about some of the places you've seen."
"Well, there was the time I swam with turtles under a night sky filled with falling stars. I wish you could have been there too." He grew pensive at the memory.
"Opa, don't be silly. They're not falling stars. They're meteorites."
"Of course they are." Opa laughed and waggled his eyebrows. "Then there was the time I lost my passport in Holland. I went to see the fields of tulips. Truly wondrous. But after a long day of walking around, I returned to my hostel and found I didn't have my ID on me."
"What did you do then?"
"I had this brilliant idea that the only place I could have dropped it was in the bus when the driver was counting out change. It turned out I was right, but it took a lot of legwork to find the company and their office. But the whole time I searched, I saw those fields of flowers and everything was worth it."
The old man talked for hours as the boy accompanied him on his slow walk around the village, and when the boy had work to do, Opa went too, telling stories all the way.
Finally, the tales fell silent, and after a while, the boy spoke. "In all your travels, Opa, what is the most important thing you learned?"
"Aside from always taking that first step?" Opa's eyes twinkled. "The first most important thing is to let it change you."
Dusk had fallen, and as they paused to survey the first evening stars, a bright point of light zipped across the sky. The boy gaped. Pointed. "Opa! Was that... was that my first falling star?"