The girl stopped in her tracks as her eyes settled on the Dolly Mime. She watched as the mime rose slowly, turning a graceful full circle as she stepped up on her platform. There, she struck a pose. The child was mesmerized.
The little one moved forward and touched the Dolly Mime's dress hem. It seemed as though she instantly believed the mime to be a life-sized doll. A crowd began to gather. A man in the crowd began to taunt "I saw you MOVE!" until his ladyfriend shushed him. The little girl continued to stare as the Dolly Mime broke the pose long enough to lean down prettily, taking a scrap of paper from her pocket to hand to the child.
I moved in, trying not to disturb the spell and tucked a dollar into the vase on the altar's edge, and stepped back to snap a picture. The child gazing at the living dolly was just too precious. The Dad fumbled with his cell phone to take a picture also, definitely a Kodak moment to carry home.
As I turned to walk away, someone in the crowd said, "Hey lady, the clown's got something for you!" I looked back, and the Dolly Mime was holding a scrap of paper out to ME. I mumbled thanks as I took it and stuffed it in my pocket. I didn't stop to look at it. Thought maybe it was a coupon for a local slice of pizza or something like that. Maybe her performance art was sponsored.
Instead it said this:
I was stunned. How could the Dolly Mime have known? I have been on this road trip and quest for two weeks, and tomorrow I return home to family, my Ojai home, and friends. It has been a wonderful vacation, also filled with family and friends. I feel renewed! But, I am going HOME, no magical red slippers, completely by choice, and the best is yet to come.