about three months after abilene texas...betty and i
are asleep in our rye, new york bedroom and i have this
a tricycle. I'm
full-grown 6'4" but the tricycle seems not all that
small for me. I'm
front wheel squeaks a little and one of the rear wheels
may have a wobble. It's
alright, though...in fact, I'm doing pretty good. I
get some great speeds out of this tricycle.
this oval track. Just
me and my tricycle. I
build up some speed on a straightaway, around a curve
at the end, up a little jump ramp and woo...over a gap
that took me by surprise. Not
too wide, but wide enough that the wheels actually left
the ground. Around
the track I go again. Down
the straightaway, around the end curve and up...and over
the gap. The
gap is about six feet wide but no problem for me and
my trusty tricycle. If
I go fast enough, I actually sail over the gap. Hey
this is fun! I've
really got the feel of the track now.
made five or six circuits when I notice a big crowd of
twenty or thirty thousand people about 500 yards away
and what is it they are doing? I
slow down. I
pedal a little further along the straightaway. I'm
curious, I stop and watch for a while. No
real significance here.
well " I think, "back to the track!" I
begin pedalling once more. It
dawns on me now as I approach the ramp once again that
I don't have nearly enough speed to clear the gap. I
should have been pedalling harder, faster, I should have
started earlier. I
shouldn't have stopped, I...I'm up the ramp. I
will not make the other side.
and the tricycle. Down
into the gap. The
walls fly by me. "I'll
be smashed" I realize, "the tricycle will hit
the rocks and the metal will drive up into my body and
I'll be killed!"
got to extricate myself from this tricycle. Now
I'm trying to climb clear while falling at some incredible
speed between two sheer cliffs to a rocky bottom which
rushes closer and...
a minute! Aren't I a child of God? Of course," I
Lord, take me now..."
am a shaft of sunlight; specks of dust drift suspended
through my beam. The
base of me rests on the rocks below; my head reaches
the sun. I
am complete. I
am home. I
begin to laugh. The
laughter wakes me up. My
eyes open and I am smiling. I
am saying "wow".
am still saying wow.