a closer relationship with God
I exhaust myself. "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) " ~Walt Whitman, Song of Myself Ah, leave it to Whitman to know exactley what I am thinking and feeling.
Anyway, went along with three friends, K & L and College K to Sandusky, Ohio this weekend for an overnight excursion to Cedar Point, the Midwest's ultimate theme park. Now, I am not much of a theme park kind of person. I hate the lines, the crowds, and don't really consider myself a huge thrill seeker, but I wanted to hang out with my friends for the weekend, so, what the hell, I went.
It was a little warmer than I had anticipated it would be and the lines were still long for so late in the season, and as I said I am not a big thrill seeker, so it was with trembling legs and a horrified look that I climbed onto ride after ride, submitting to the treatment from the coasters, being thrown around like a rag doll. It wasn't too long before I was actually enjoying myself again, bravely walking to meet ride after ride.
And then from across the park I spied my nemesis. The Wicked Twister-the worst, in my mind, of all rides. A ride that sends you shooting up a 90 degree angle at 72 mph, climbing to a height of 215 feet, and all the while twisting upward you swivel 450 degrees around steel curves.
And then you zoom backwards at 72 mph and do it again, 5 times.
"No," I said firmly. "I am not going on that." And my friends L and College K respected my wishes, for then. They themselves-thrill seekers-looked a little daunted by the ride. While they climbed on I chose instead to ride the ginormous ferris wheel with K, and watched in horror, mouth slightly agape, as riders of the Wicked Twister screamed as they were blasted upwards at rib shaking speeds.
The ride, Married K and L assured us, makes your adrenaline go through the roof, "you feel such a surge of energy, like you can take on the world." Yeah, like that ever got me to do anything-WINK!
But, avoid it as I might try, we wound up standing in front of the monstrosity later. And so I did it. I got into line and tried to play it cool outwardly, while inside I was freaking out.
I climbed on and buckled in, checking to make sure the seat belt was tight and locked about a dozen times, saying every prayer I could think of, asking every patron saint of whatever I could think of to keep an eye on me. And before they counted down from 3....2....1....we shot off like a rocket, leaving my stomach on the platform. I was so scared that I couldn't even scream. I was too busy holding on for dear life, pressing my eyes closed as hard as possible (yes it is possible to force yourself to see stars), and finding a new relationship with God.
And just like that...in less than 3 minutes, it was over and I was dashing off the platform to solid ground, nearly bowling over a dozen children and someone in a wheelchair. It was so nice when my breathing finally returned to normal. I almost missed the shallow, short, breaths that when paired with my pale skin made me look like I had snuck away from the infimary. And just like that...I wanted to do it again...not just then... some time or other...in the future...maybe even the distant future.
I was glad as the night stretched before us; the park getting darker. There is something less frightening about riding coasters at night when you can't see things as well. I was ready to sit down too, my feet sore after 12 hours of walking. We finally settled down and had some drinks and then K & L and I wandered down to the beach outside our hotel, while College K crashed in the room.
Cedar Point is on the shores of Lake Erie, which provided us with a lovely view from our hotel room window at The Breakers. It was so nice to walk the nearly deserted beach in the cool of the late night, staring up at the thousands of stars winking down at the water. The three of us sat and talked for a while before it became too chilly and we all became too tired to sit out any longer. I was sorry to return indoors. I felt as though I could have slept on the shore, burrowing deep into the sands like a crab, to await the eventual paling of the sky and the September sunrise.
There is something akin to a feeling of coming home felt whenever I am near any of the Great Lakes. It is something indescribable. I come from a line of sailors and I know that we all feel a strange pull to water, so maybe the Great Lakes are as good as it gets since there is no ocean nearby.
That said...I am looking forward to this weekend. I am going on a camping retreat on the shores of Lake Huron. I will be preparing the meals for the retreatants, cooking for 40+ people, and I am sure that I will be reminiscing of my former life where I fancied myself a cook.