She roams, around and around and around.
But none of this wandering started out of nothing. In fact, this mission is what gives Lee Watterson’s life purpose.
Before she wandered and roamed, she was so content to stay. So content to keep within a home, a field, where the treeline was the only marker. An existence feels safer when bound to a place, when there’s something to return to, someone to greet you at the door. Yet, she had curiosity, a terrible thing for any human. A desire for more, a desire to learn outside of her comfort zone, a desire to see just what the world had to offer. So, she wandered a little, these were haphazard steps. Steps of a child first learning it has legs to stand on. They’re filled with puerile discovery.
She doesn’t make it far until she’s stopped, wild animals and dangerous people make the forest outside her village home. Wizards in her stories were always clad in white, not the tattered brown robes this man wore. Wizards in her stories were always gentle and softspoken, not tugging on her arm nor screaming in her ear. What made this wizard so different than the ones in her books?
A bang, a flash of light, and Lee’s blinded for a few moments. Ahead of her stands this brown robed, wand drawn, eyes wild wizard. Unkempt hair and scraggly beard, green flames smoldering ahead of him. This is no wizard she knows, no wizard she knows would set fire to a bear.
“Are you okay?”
Simple words, but kind undertones. It’s all it takes for the girl to smile back.
“Yep! I’m just fine!”
The kind wizard sighed in relief, shoulders slumped, wand returned to pocket. Lee’s left to stare in awe. The wizards from her books castes from staves or books, never a small glowing stick. It intrigued her; there’s the curiosity again.
“How’d you do that?”
The kind wizard is struck, this little girl showed no fear. Instead, her eyes only held that great and terrible desire to know more.
“With magic.” His eyes crinkled, a smile from ear to ear. Perhaps, this wizard thinks, a young curiosity is just what he needs. “Would you like to learn it?”
Lee was thunderstruck. In her stories, wizards never took apprentices unless they showed great potential. Was she one such person? Someone who could wield such power from her tiny hands?
The answer is obvious, of course.
The kind wizard, now mentor, took the girl by the hand and led her away. Of course, this story wouldn’t be shared by Lee’s parents, nor the others in her town. Instead, they’d talk of a dangerous mage who stole their precious daughter, whisked her off to a land of make believe, where they’d never see her again.
Oh, if only they knew what she learned, the places she’s seen, the people she’s met. They’d be proud of her indeed.
Yet still, to this day, she wanders around and around and around.