Friday, July 14, 2006
A MAGICAL SPIN ON A SUMMER DAY
We walk along the muddy road, my hand clenched tightly in my mothers, kicking up
sand beneath me, some of it even getting into my sandals and making me laugh. It was a beautiful sunny day and more important it was the day of the fair. Every year I loked forward to this special outing that I had with my mother. As we get closer I can see the rainbow colored tents against the blue sky, the smell of the animals and food all blended into one. , along the way there are vendors displaying toys, clothes, paintings, animals , balloons and cotton candy. Loud music fills the air along with the voices of children laughing and mothers screaming to make their children behave.
We pass by the games, I ask if we can play some, my mother tells me to hurry up, the money has to last us the whole day and not spent on foolish things like games. She stops by a needlework stall displaying cross stiched hand towels."Beautiful isn't it" she says. I am dis interested, my eyes wander to the merry -go-round. the shiny knobs glisten in the sun, I can smell the paint of the freshly painted horses, different colors with silver mettalic trim. the blue horse catches my eye, this is the horse I want to go on. I am brave enough to ride on this one alone, I purchase a ticket and run towards the blue horse and get up on it. The horses start to move and they go round and round, taking my feet off the ground and I can feel the wind blowing through my hair.You chase the horses around and around,you are still unable to cath them. The weightlessness that I felt could not be explained. I wish it would not stop. I only had enough money for one more ride, the last ride that was usually at the end of the day.
As night falls in the fair grounds there is only one last thrill, the Giant Wheel. It is essentially a vertical merry -go- round. Now a days kids want wilder rides , rides that give you the sense of imminent death. But for me the giant wheel did just that. We walk up the ramp together my mother and I. Holding her hand tight fearful but pretending to be brave. We climb on to the bench, my mother looks intense , I know that this is not her best ride but she is on it, for me. I look up to her and she smiles. I am re assured. The motor starts to humm and the wheel starts to turn and we go high above and it stops to load another passenger, from above I can see the colored lights and the people below. The wheel starts to turn, the bench sways and we pick up speed. we go whirling around, my stomach turns when we drop down . Nothing like the rise and fall of the wheel , you are raised away from the earth and dropped back again. It is a sheer delight , a mixture of fear and excitement. It eventually slows down and the ride ends and so does summer. When I look back so much has changed, new rides, new things but the Giant wheel or Ferris wheel as some call it remains the same. And with each turn I am transported back to a day in my childhood.