Claire and I took a stroll around our neighborhood tonight. It's about a mile from our house around the loop, past the lake, and home again. Along the way we saw a bunny hop across the street. We saw two boys jumping on a trampoline in their backyard. We saw three fish swimming in the shallows at the edge of the lake. And up the hill to home, a little brown bird hopped along in front of us.
When we got home Claire stretched out on her back in the middle of the road. I lay down next to her, enjoying the firmness under my back. We put our ball caps on and looked up at the gray sky.
"I hope nobody makes a wrong turn," I said.
We live at the end of the street where you can't go any further but occasionally, cars come our way and end up turning around in our driveway.
"Where did time begin?" Claire blurted, " I mean, where is the end of all this, all the galaxies. What was here before this?"
"You mean, the earth? Gosh, Claire, what great questions and... I don't have a clue. People have wondered about that ever since..."
"What if we're in some big black box, Mom? Like some kid's science project. You know, the kind with the styrofoam planets hanging from strings inside a box?"
We lay there, bouncing questions back and forth; the two of us flat on our backs looking up at the evening sky. I watched a white space in the gray clouds, shifting and changing shape. And felt the ground under me.