Suzu was the beloved only child of a rich man who, when she was very young, left his family and never returned. Whenever she asked her mother where her father had gone, her mother told her that he hated them and left so that he would never have to see them again. But Suzu remembered that her father had always been loving and kind, so she wondered if there might be another reason, and she resolved to try to find out one day.
When she was old enough, Suzu went to the university, where she studied philosophy. To see Suzu was to fall in love with her, and she in her turn fell in love with others. But love did not last, often turning to bitterness before the end, and philosophy, though it engaged her mind, left her heart unmoved, and so did not satisfy her longing to understand. The question that haunted her — Why did my father abandon us? — could not be answered by either philosophy or love.
One day Suzu found an old book which told the story of a boy who leaves home and has a great adventure. She wondered if her father might have left his home in order to have a great adventure. She thought it might prove a great adventure for her to go out in search of her father, and decided to leave her comfortable world behind and strike out on her own.
She also remembered that when her father departed he took nothing with him, only the clothes on his back and a small notebook he always carried. And so she did the same.