Friday, April 9, 2010

As the Wheel Turns

"Fortune sometimes turns around like a mill wheel and he who was yesterday at the top lies today at the bottom” ~ Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra

Although the air was thick with pollen, my mile-a-minute daughter decided, yesterday afternoon, that she was going outside to ride her bicycle. Glass of tea in hand, I went out on the porch and settled on one of the rockers to watch her ride.

Against the tender green of new spring growth, she appeared as an explosion of pink on wheels - her bright pink helmet and shirt were a stark contrast against the sky, and a perfect match to her rose sandals and fuchsia wheel spinners. I sipped the tea, and absent-mindedly allowed myself to take in the full picture of a little girl happy in her world, until my eyes honed in on the Cinderella spinner going up and down as one of the wheels moved. Instantly, the rest of the panorama was cropped, and Cinderella was all I could see. Here was a smiling princess, sitting proudly on top of the wheel for a second, and falling to the bottom the next. Over and over. And yet, each time she fell at the bottom of the wheel, Cinderella could only rise back up.

Nothing in life is constant. We are born, live and die; relationships are formed and dissolved; empires are built and destroyed. Yet, one thing is certain – after touching the bottom, we can only look up. Being at the top is only an illusion of stability, and he who thinks he can’t fall has many lessons to learn. Similarly, he who’s at the bottom should consider that all is interchangeable, and even the worst of luck won’t last forever.

Tragedies do happen in clusters, and have the power to knock us down momentarily, but as the wheel continues to spin, we will soon be sitting on the top again, eager to savor the moments of glory, and enriched by the knowledge that what we survived is part of what pushed us back to the top.