Every kid needs a Terabithia. A place they go to feel completely not alone. The opposite of alone. Immersed head-first in the world. That is what we have come to know in our Terabithia. We have found more than a few over the years. There is one that is dark, quiet, hidden and full of giggles. Another is high and bright; we shout there and it is also hidden, but in a different way. Another feels far away like a journey of a hundred miles. I feel that flutter of the “getting lost heartbeat” on the way there, even though my logical brain knows we are three blocks from home.
Maybe that’s what makes Terabithia—it must be hidden. Or perhaps it must be secret, only whispered about in bedtime stories and memories during moonlit walks. Actually, I believe what qualifies the discovery of a Terabithia is not really looking for it all….it has to find you. You don’t realize you are in it until you say the name and the name takes the shape of the space. And it fits and it is found.
Only then is it yours.
My daughters will travel many miles and dwell in many homes in their lifetimes, but I can be certain of at least one thing. In each homeland, they will, at some point, feel the ground rise up to meet them, smell the air soften around them, and the movement of the day will slow to an easy rocking. They will close their eyes for a moment, then look up to the sky with a sudden rush of a smile and say, “We found Terabithia!”