Looking at it from the outside in, it looks magical. Painted with deep rich colors that demand attention. It moves with fluid smooth motions. Light dances off of the mirrors and the music is hypnotic. The horses fit my body like glove – like it was carved just me.
The excitement builds as I get closer to the entrance, and just as it is my turn to get in the gate and pick my horse, I notice the something different. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel it in my soul.
Then there I was, left to pick my horse. I picked a seat bench because if truth be told I am not a huge fun and the up and down motion while going round and round. My seat was hard with a tilted back that made for a comfortable ride.
I found myself in awe of the detailed carvings – how does one have the patience for that I wonder to myself?
Giggles, laughter and music filled the air – until it didn’t.
I was asked to change seats to a whole new ride, to be with a new group of people I didn’t know. This seemed normal, like they were my tribe.
The air was heavier over here. Like something intense was about to happen and no one looked each other in the eye for fear of the other person seeing this fear too. If they noticed it also, it had to be true – right?
I started to notice cracks in the paint and splinters on the pole and sad eyes all around.
I asked where we were at, but nobody answered – nobody knew.
We would sometimes stop and pick up a few new people or drop someone off.
I wanted off. How were they getting off? Why were they getting off and no one around me got to get off?
Then I noticed something. Once they got off, they never got back on - we never got to see them again. They just kind of floated into the air all the while we were left there to wonder.
So as tired as I was going up and down and round and round, I told myself I had to settle in and try to enjoy the ride.
Then an amazing thing happened, those of us who were left on the ride noticed each other. Noticed we weren’t alone on the ride. Noticed there were more things we had in common with one another than being stuck on this ride trying to get off. We noticed all of our horses or bench seats were different in major and minor ways. They all had a different story to tell – once we stopped to listen to each other.
We asked why. Why was everyone so different but so much the same? No one knew the answer though.
All we knew was that someone heard once you made it to this ride, you were going to be on this ride for the rest of your life.
That shook us all to the core. Who said that? How did they know? We all looked at each other so scared we couldn’t talk. We just cried.
After all the tears dried up, we all had this magical glow around us.
We realized we were there – there for each other – there to help a new one on to the ride; although we really hated it. But we were there none the less for each other – no matter how long or short someone had been on the ride.
We were there. There. To cry together. To laugh together. To live this life on this merry go round together.
We also realized none of us asked for this. None of us did or didn’t do one little thing that made us end up here – we were just here. It made it a little easier to know someone else knew what this fucking ride felt like.
We talked with each other. We got to know each other. We asked each other questions. What we did before we were on this ride? What is your family like? Where is your favorite place to be? What are you scared of?
That was the one that always got us all. What were we scared of?
None of us could help it – that question would take our breath away and made our hearts race.
We were scared of dying in our 30’s, our kids not having moms, and so much more. We are scared we didn’t do enough to have our legacy live on?
How will we ever know?