As the World Goes Round and Round

One hot Sunday outside Washington, D.C., my buddy finds bliss. It costs him a buck twenty-five. To be precise, it costs his father a buck twenty-five. My buddy doesn't carry much cash. He just turned three this spring.

But this buck twenty-five gets him a four-minute ride on the carousel. A marvel of bright lights, gold poles, band organ music, painted ponies.

My buddy chooses a brown horse. I velcro him in. The band organ starts. The world begins to go round. And here is where my buddy finds bliss.

And I only know because his face so suddenly fills with awe. Awe like something hidden has been made visible.

But it's not just his face. It seems every inch of him is taking in every inch of the light and sound and air and space as his brown horse rises and falls and the world goes round and round.

It's like he gets that you can't take this with you. Can't ride the brown horse off the carousel and into the van home.

I don't get this yet. I try to take pictures of my buddy. Try to freeze some of the bliss so I can look at it in the van home. Only the images are blurry. Because bliss is aliveness and here-ness and this-ness and will not be, cannot be frozen.

My buddy knows what to do about that: he loves it now. In four minutes, this now will be gone. There will be other now's. But not this one.

And finally I get it. Get this hidden thing that has been made visible. And for the rest of our ride, I feel a little bliss as the world goes round and round.

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