Although merry-go-rounds or carousels are usually found at state and county fairs, the oldest platform carousel in the country, Flying Horses, is actually a permanent fixture in the charming town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard where we’ve spent many idyllic summer vacations. (See Menemsha Sunset)
When our son was young we often took him to ride the carousel, but on more recent Vineyard sojourns Flying Horses was understandably no longer a regular destination. But a few summers ago we were back on the island and passing the carousel we decided to stop and watch the horses for old time’s sake.
As I stood watching all the parents and kids climbing on, one young family caught my eye. The tall, lovely mother was African-American, the handsome father was White, and their little daughter, like so many biracial kids, was strikingly beautiful with a head of tumbling dark curls, and probably no older than two.
I watched as the father mounted one of the horses holding the child on his lap, and the mother by chance came to stand right next to me.
The carousel began to move and as it circled around, the father pointed to where his wife stood waving, and the child grinned and waved back. Each time the carousel circled past us, the child’s smile seem to grow bigger and bigger as she learned when to anticipate the sight of her waving mother.
Then as the carousel began to slow, the mother left my side and walked to where her family would be coming off the platform. But the carousel completed one more circuit before it came to a full stop, and as the little girl’s horse approached the spot where her mother no longer stood, I saw her smile fade and her lips quiver.
“Don’t cry, little one,” I wanted to tell her, “the mother and child reunion is only a motion away!”
Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!