Every time we go to Superstition Springs Mall, we usually end up in the food court to grab a snack after some shopping; we sit close to the giant, lighted carousel, and my mom always tell me about how she used to take me to that carousel every single day when I was a little girl. Yes, I was a complete horse-lover and enchanted by merry-go-rounds or ANYTHING that resembled a horse, pony, unicorn, or pegasus of any kind—you get the idea.
Well, when I was little, that carousel used to be in downtown Mesa, and there was a man who ran it that you had to buy the carousel tokens from. He was quite fond of me because I came to ride his merry-go-round so much that he just started letting me ride it for free. When they moved the carousel over to the mall, there was a grand opening. According to my mom, the man recognized me and let me be the first kid to choose which carousel horse/animal that I wanted to ride. Obviously, I chose the dragon, which (despite my love of horses) was definitely the coolest creature on the merry-go-round.
Now every time I see that carousel, it brings me back to my childhood enchantment. In a way, I almost feel as though it is my carousel, and if that man were still running it, he would still let me ride it for free and let me choose the dragon.
As we were getting some shopping done for some last details of the wedding, Jacob, my mom, and I just happened to end up in the food court of the mall next to the carousel. Of course, my mom told Jacob all about it. She also wouldn't let us leave until we got to ride it. It was late, we had been shopping for a few hours, and we were very tired—but no! "You guys HAVE TO ride it!! Go on! I'll buy your tokens!" So even though we were shrugging our shoulders and probably feeling a little too old to be riding a merry-go-round, we soon found ourselves perched on a mighty stallion and (of course) my ol' dragon.
It made for a cute picture opportunity, but there really was something lovely about it. Like I had come full circle—or grown up, but hadn't changed so much after all. I have to admit, the merry-go-round still holds its charm for me. As the ride slowed down and robotically came to a stop, I even recalled the same old sigh of disappointment knowing the ride was over. Having my fiancé along for the ride added something special to it, somehow encompassing all of those deep childhood loves, wants, and dreams.
Love and horses—that's all a girl ever wanted.