The Ferris Wheel Ride

It’s Feb Fair here in the University of the Philippines – Los Baños and the campus’ Freedom Park had been converted into a party festival. Stalls selling food and refreshments, booths offering various gimmicks, and amusement rides can be seen anywhere. Since our dormitory is only right in front of the park, I and my dorm-mates wasted no time in joining the party. So from one fun fair booth to another, we hopped. And despite its dilapidated appearance, we also rode the Ferris wheel.

Yup, this large Ferris wheel looked worn and menacing to me, as if it could collapse with just one kick. From the looks of it, it was scary and unsafe. But nah, we summoned all our guts and we rode on it. And the moment I sat on the seat, I felt chills all over me that my knees literally shook. There were only seats around the wheel, and they were nothing like cabins or gondolas. They had no walls or enclosure; the seat was open that I felt I might fall anytime. There were no seatbelts as well, and the only thing to support us was a metal rod that spanned from one corner of the seat to the other. But it was not stable and it kept tingling as I held on tight to it. It was really the most unsafe Ferris wheel I ever rode. What is worse was that we didn’t sit upright since the seat had to find its balance and we had to lay our backs down. And all throughout the ride, we had to be in that crouching position.

The chills went even crazier the instant the Ferris wheel started to rotate. There were screaming around. And when we reached the highest spot, my fright just intensified, especially that I kept sliding off my seat and I felt like being thrown out of the wheel. When we went down, my knees quivered more and I seemed out of breathe. I just couldn’t help myself and I also screamed along with the other people. The wheel just kept on rotating faster and faster for I don’t know how long….

While on my seat, I thought I just had enough of that crazy ride and I wanted it to end. But deep inside my heart, I enjoyed it. I wanted to close my eyes in order to stop the terror. But I simply let loose and let fears washed me over that I screamed over and over. It was scary, but it was a fun ride.

It gave me a thought, that in life, when we are too intent to reach our goals fast, we tend to forget to enjoy the journey. Just like ending the Ferris wheel ride quickly so we can move on to our next ride, we shut ourselves down from life’s simple pleasures. We concentrate too much on our dreams and devote all our energies in achieving them; yet along the way, we miss the fun and thrills of doing it. We just wanted it to end that we closed our eyes to the loveliness around us. That we closed our ears to the exciting sounds echoing through the air. That we closed our hearts to the things that really mattered most, like family, friends, love, and life itself….

Soon, the Ferris wheel ride ended and the passengers were unloaded one by one. There was that one instant when we stopped at the top spot. It was still scary but the sight below us was breathe-taking. The UPLB Freedom Park was ablaze with lights and happiness. There was so much life. It was beautiful.

Likewise, the moment we took a break from the hassle of pursuing our ambitions, only then we will see the colors and sounds settle. Images will be clearer and the things of greater value will surface. We will take on a better perspective. And once you leave the ride and move on to the next, you will go with a bigger smile. For it was not an empty success. It was not a lonely journey. For along the way, you did not lose sight and appreciation of the beauty around you…

February 14, 2014
6:04 - 6:42 PM

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


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