The Spinning Signpost
At last, almost at the end of her long journey, she sees a junction in the road in the distance. Myriad paths lead from its centre to widely different directions in the distance. Whither shall she follow? She decides to decide when she reaches the junction.
When she comes to it, however, she is faced by a most curious device. Indeed, there is a signpost there for the confused traveller, but it is of no help to her. For once she approaches it, the signpost starts spinning.
Round and round spin the directions on the signpost. Faster and faster they turn, till she cannot see the names on the signs as they spin. Nor does she know which direction lies the destination she seeks.
"What on..." She mutters to herself, bemusedly watching the signpost spin. What is a traveller to do in this instance? She decides to wait by the post and see whether it stops.
As she waits, another traveller walks up to the junction, and unhesitatedly walks off into one road.
"How did he...? Hie! You there!" she cries out, and the traveller stops, and turns to face her.
"How'd you know which way to go? How'd you know that was the right way?" She shouts at him.
"I just know!" he calls back, and continues.
She is left confused. How did that traveller find his direction so unhesitatedly? She looks up at the sign, still spinning wildly.
No change, she thought to herself, before sitting down again and making a sandwich.
"HO! WHAT IS THIS??" The booming voice jolts her to her feet. She is suddenly facing a stern, authoritative figure.
"DO YOU NOT HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO, THAN TO JUST SIT HERE AND EAT?" He stares down at her, making her feel like a 7-year old in school for the first time and in front of the master.
"Please, sir, the sign is spinning, and I don't know which direction to follow." She pleads meekly.
"EXCUSES!! ONE SIMPLY TAKES THE USUAL PATH!" He waves his hand at the largest, and most worn of the paths, the one that has seen the most footsteps.
She stares at him. "How can I just choose a path like that? How will I know what lies ahead in that path?"
"THAT IS NOT IMPORTANT! AT LEAST YOU KNOW THIS PATH IS SAFE! YOU KNOW THIS PATH IS WELL-TRAVELLED! EVERYONE WALKS THIS PATH AND EVERYONE ARRIVES AT THEIR DESTINATION!"
"what if I don't arrive at mine?"
"AN IMPOSSIBILITY. EVERYONE ARRIVES AT THEIR DESTINATION WITH THIS PATH!"
"Er... I think I'll wait."
"SUIT YOURSELF" He says coldly, staring down at her one last time before walking down that same well-travelled path.
She sits down again, and munches her sandwich. Peace for now, but she knows that other travellers will come again. And indeed, this time it is a young couple who do so. They walk arm in arm, giggling at secret jokes she cannot hear, and they almost fall over her in surprise, as if not seeing she was there.
"What are you doing here??" They laugh in unison.
"I'm waiting for the sign to stop spinning, so I can figure out where to go." she explains.
"And where's your companion?" They look left and right. She stares at them. Companion?
"No companion??" They cry out in horror "Who accompanies you on this journey then?"
"Er....... no one?"
"You poor thing! Well, I hope someone joins you soon!" they laugh, before falling into each other's arms and, yes, walking off into another direction again. Watching them, she feels a pang and suddenly her sandwich wasn't as tasty as before. If she had to be stuck here, it would, admittedly, be a more pleasant wait with company.
Sitting down again, she wonders why she's been destined to wait alone, while others could find someone to walk on with. Would there be someone to give her the direction she wanted? Would there be someone willing to wait there with her?
Questions, and yet, she is still there, alone.
A snowfall. Gentle snowflakes fall down, and she wraps her cloak around her for warmth. The temperature falls and she feels colder and colder. She huddles up to the spinning signpost.
"Maybe my destination will be warm." She sighs, dreamiliy visioning it in front of her. And as she dreams, her vision seems to encompass her. Ignoring the coldness seeping into her skin, she sees only the warm sunshine spreading in front of her. There, were the blue skies she wept to see. The flawless blue skies with screaming gulls across its surface. Walking into her vision, she knew this was it. This was where she wanted to go. And there were a pair of arms welcoming her in...
And slowly the wind blows the snow over her, and makes the signpost spin faster....