Four-year-old Ruth grabbed her mother’s hand as she walked through the crowd toward the fair's carnival rides. Ruth leaned against her mother's skirt.
“Come on Ruth,” her mother said. “Don’t be afraid. Remember I have your hand.”
Her mother’s words gave her comfort. It was a beautiful spring day, the sun bright and temperatures in the upper 70’s. The smell of popcorn drifted around them.
May purchased tickets, then led her daughter to the children’s rides. The daughter handed the attendant two tickets. She climbed into a small red boat which sat in a large, circular tank of knee-deep water. The boats circled several times around the tank before the ride stopped, and the children got off.
Ruth followed her mother. Several balloons floated in the air. “May I have a balloon, a beautiful yellow one?”
Her mother nodded and picked out a shiny, yellow one from the balloon man. “I will tie it around your wrist, so you don’t lose it.”
“Oh Mother! Thank you. The balloon is beautiful.”
Soon, they came to a row of food stands. “Let’s get something to eat. It’s past lunch time, and my feet ache,” May said. They sat down at a booth. She bought them hamburgers, sodas and a large order of fries.
Ruth sipped on the soda and pulled the hamburger out of the bun. She bit into it. The juices dripped down her chin. Her mother wiped them with a napkin. They finished, stepped down and headed back toward the fairway.
The little girl gazed at the people playing games at the booths. She smiled as she saw the merry-go-round in front of them. “Oh, Mother! Please may I ride the merry-go-round?”
The mother looked for horses, where the two could ride side by side. She helped Ruth onto a beautiful horse decorated in shades of purple. Its head was etched in gold. The mother grabbed the reins of a red horse. It also etched in gold.
The attendant started the ride and around the horses went as they moved up and down to the music.
Then the ride ended. Ruth, no longer a little girl, climbed down from her horse.
She now was a grown woman. Because, you see, the merry-go-round of life keeps whirling round and round as daughters become mothers over and over again. Remember Mother’s Day is May 8. Tell your mother you love her.
Excerpt from Seasons of the Soul