I was beginning to entertain serious doubts about embarking on the Cork Screw roller coaster at Valley Fair. Just like it sounds, it has several winding loops that send you upside down and all around. As my friend and I stepped into the chairs and were locked in by the attendant, my fears began to mount; we were at the point of no return.
Slowly the cars clickety-clacked their way to the top, and with each passing moment I became more paralyzed by fear. My eyes shut tight and I held to the side of the car white knuckled saying, fruitlessly, “Oh God, I don’t want to do this”! I’m sure the air turned a very distinct shade of blue. We began the first breathtaking, throat-choking decent into empty nothingness, and my screams and curses could probably be heard far and wide.
My friend next to me was enjoying herself. She said to me with a smile in her voice, “Shari, open your eyes…just open your eyes and look around, it’s fun!”
As I bravely harkened to her wisdom, an incredible thing happened; watching the scenery as it changed, I suddenly I didn’t feel “upside down” anymore. The trees and people on the ground were the ones moving up and down and all around in my vision, and my fear melted away in an instant. Before I knew it I was having a blast, and my new-found thrill was over way too quick. Just like that, the bars were unlocked and we departed, making room for the next “victims”. I looked at my friend and breathlessly proclaimed, “That was amazing!”
This was many years ago. I didn’t think much about it then– all I knew is that the “Cork Screw” became my favorite ride– but recently this memory has come back to me, and what strikes me is this: Nothing about my circumstance had changed. While sitting in the same locked seat, on the same scary roller coaster, I went from real terror to real joy; and the ONLY thing that changed was that I opened my eyes to see what was really there. What possibilities this thought inspires!