Drives across the vast freeways of the USA can get you present to ‘size’ in a special way. The cars are large. The roads are wide. The billboards are wider. And if you stop for a bite, the portions can serve you for a lifetime. Or two.
But there is another reason that I like them for: the view of the sky. The Sun stays up and shiny till 8.30 PM. The blue shades of dusk that stretches beyond, like a reluctant goodbye of a loved one at an airport. When you drive into the setting Sun, you get an inviting view of the clouds. It is magical.
On one such trip, the little miss shouted out, “Snow White” pointing to an array of clouds. I looked in her array of clouds and found no “snow white’. At best, it looked like some full grown cauliflower. I said, “I don’t see any Snow White“.
At first, she withdrew in silence and then, said, “Don’t be silly Appa”. Can you see the head there? And the body and the legs. She is bending over searching for something. I can also see her scarf. Can you not see?”
I looked harder and deeper. A head emerged and I could imagine that it belonged to Snow White. I could not see her bending or the legs or the body. Or the scarf for that matter. “I can see the head”, I said. In all honesty.
“If you can see the head, you can see more Appa. Try”. She said.
The wind was playing a cruel trick and before I could see any further the clouds were rearranging themselves. Snow White was gone even before I could place her fully.
In a bit, there was a new cloud array. A quick dash question came my way. “What do YOU see now, Appa?” It became a super game and kept chipping away from the familiarity induced boredom that the vast roads bring along.
Intermittent to her questions and my answers, I kept thinking of how sure she was about what she saw. And how I just couldn’t see what she saw without some prodding and help from her.
It reminded me of what I needed to do more of. Perhaps what the world needs to do more of as well. To try and see what others see even if at first, we cannot do so. To help others see what we see, even when they refuse to do so. That is building perspective! And to understand the clouds will move with the winds and the wind will keep a relentless pace.
Long after it was all over and as I was tucking her in at night, she asked what the clouds were doing just then. “They must be playing their games”.
“Will they be good Appa?”
“I don’t know. But we soon will know”
“Why Appa?”, she asked. With an inquisitive arch of the brow.
“Because”, I said, “it soon will be dawn”.