Sunday, September 7, 2008


In life, there must be a difference between riding a roller coaster and changing a tire in the desert.

That sounds simplistic, but think beyond the first waves of deliberation. If the amusement park ride were straight, and on level ground, it wouldn't be exciting. No one would wonder if they had the courage to try. The sudden curves, dips and climbs are the genesis of the thrill. 

At the side of the road, tilted on the blistering pavement of a deserted two-lane highway, a lone driver stares at a flat tire. His destination may be remote, even seeming unreachable. Does he have the skill needed to repair the tire? Are the proper tools available? Is assistance accessible? Will time and budget stretch to compensate for the delay?

The one thing both riders need to remember is to truly contemplate their conveyance. The thrill of the ride doesn't make the roller coaster car itself a thing of beauty. Once the spin ends, you can always start again, but it's the ride, not the vehicle that gives lasting joy.  In contrary fashion, the flat tire cannot denigrate the actual vehicle in the desert. Even a luxury auto with every known convenience will need care.

Light bulb moment. Epiphany. I've had my roller coaster ride. It was thrilling, and the memory is lasting beyond the fireworks at the end of the night, as often happens after a grand visit to the Magic Kingdom. Now that I'm driving cross-country, did I not realize there would be a few flat tires? Was that short sighted or arrogant? Now, where is that tool box? (Triple A, anyone?)

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