The electric bulbs flash and disappear, strobing in the central mirrors of our carousel. Horses, large rabbits, a camel, and even a massive Chanticleer. White ivory railings entwine among brassplated twists that rise to the ceiling.
A white-railed fence wraps around the carousel at the mall, and parents often lean on it, watching their children spin and bob upon their noble steeds. Along the top, ivory white, and faded olive imprints, inlaid paintings of the rural landscape line the edges. A Mennonite family walks by, unnoticing, unnoticed.
The carousel stops for a time. No business.
Then, a little girl, maybe five years old smiling like one ignorant of tears, leads her grandfather toward the lights. She mounts a chestnut stallion. Good choice.
Slowly, the carousel motors groan, and the canticle of tinkling music begins. The strobe of mirrors begins again, twirling with dizzying glee.
Her grandfather leaned over the fence when she came around the corner. Her horse sped from behind the central spindle. The chestnut stallion's nostrils flared, frozen in mid-canter. Her grandfather held out his hand, and she leaned out to reach.
Their fingers clasped for a brief moment. But the horse didn't slow. She was swept away, out of sight.
When they were reunited after the ride ended, she trotted happily up to the white gate. He opened the latch for her, and she reached up.
They embraced. For a few minutes, no one spoke a word.
Then I found out. She was deaf.
Why don't we value the little things in life more? An embrace. A simple touch can communicate a universe beyond words. Yet we even forget to say the words.