Last night we went to the county fair, the mid-way seemed shrunken, the children less wide eyed, the number of goats and sheep and cows diminished from previous times. It’s been some years since I last went but still it seemed altogether smaller, a little faded, almost tired. Maybe it was the after effects of the “largest tenderloin sandwich ever”, which after just a few bites seemed to stay with me longer than the pleasure of the Ferris wheel.
The Ferris wheel really was a delight. We waited at the front of the line watching the beginnings of sundown. The first ones on we rode ever so slowly around while the cars loaded up; the effortless rising, the easy fall. The lights were just coming on, the Avalanche, the Himalaya, the Pirate Ship all glowed as they spun and shook, the game prize booths and the corn dog and lemonade stands sparkled and the bright summer clothes moved in clusters through the cool summer evening. Everything turned magic from the distance at the top of the wheel.
Down on the ground the teenage crowds were growing thicker and the families with little kids starting to the gate. One young dad came back smiling with a bag of cotton candy to share with his small son before a last ride. I was thinking how sad it was that cotton candy now came squished in a plastic bag instead of spun around a paper cone. But when the boy reached out for a piece, clearly not knowing what it was, and put the sticky soft swirl in his mouth, the sweet sugar melted into him. He lit up and the for another moment the fair was magic, even on the uneven ground.