Spinning My Wheel

Sometimes wheels just spin. When I was a young boy, I spent a great deal of time in the sandbox behind the house. Sandboxes are never located in front yards, because felines are modest creatures and have no say in their own despicable nudity. The main difference between a sandbox and a public restroom is the ready availability of the latter during daylight hours, which is when cats do most of their sleeping.

One of my favorite sandbox activities was using my imagination, a term I invented to explain why there was no toy truck to go along with the wheel I found one day while excavating. A wheel's origin isn't difficult to determine once you know what to look for, which is how I knew it had once been attached to a truck. Had it belonged to a car, I would have known that, too, but it hadn't.

Noticing that my disembodied wheel created an elegant track in the sand, it was only a matter of time before one track became two, and eventually four, which happens to coincide nicely with the number of tracks made by four wheels, such as those found on modern trucks as they navigate the shifting sands of the Sahara. In my imagination there was a truck connected to my wheel, and together we had many adventures.

With my wheel, I was able to vicariously inhabit the roles of important historical figures, such as Ezekiel. Flinging my wheel way uproughly into the middle of the skyI immediately understood the wonder he must have felt as he stood in his sandbox, squinting at the graceful arc of his own wheel as it flew up, up, up, then down.

If Ezekiel's wheel had landed on his head, I'm pretty sure he would have been famous for discovering gravity. I don't think Newton had a wheel, though.



  1. When I was very young, I, too, used my imagination. Sadly, it was to drive my mother crazy. Especially on Christmas morning : I would empty the toy package and climb in it, imagining it a rocket ship soaring into the endless depths of infinity or if it were smaller, wear it as a space helmet -- leaving the toy forgotten on the floor, amidst all the wrapping paper.

    I enjoyed reading your posts. Come check out my blog : WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS : www.rolandyeomans.blogspot.com.


  2. before newton discovered gravity, did everything not tied down float around? Perhaps ezekiel DID invent gravity! lack of gravity may also explain the extinction of dinosaurs, but that is a story best left for another day...

  3. Hello, Roland. My own mother never recovered, fully, from the effects of my (very similar) childhood antics. In fact, I still haven't outgrown my childishness, and if statistical likelihood counts for anything, I never will. It is to chortle, burpingly, and without remorse.

    Tom, you may be onto something here. Something big, like a lumpy blimp, maybe. It reminds me of a story I read somewhere, possibly here . . .


    . . . which lends credence to the incredible, or vice versa, or versa vice, or whatever it is you humans so cunningly call it whenever there's a morsel of doubt floating about in the teacup of life.

  4. Thanks, Jeff, for the kind words about my blog you left. And like you, I think I will never lose the child-like wonder towards life ... and if we haven't by this time, we probably never will. Better to never grow up than to dry up!

  5. We lived in a flat but had no sandbox...still, I did find other things to do with my imagination eg. fill the tub with plastic toys and discover floating and sinking.

    Now I have kids...so I have lots of opportunities to play in sandboxes. Thanks for your lovely story...I guess if you and I were friends as kids with your sand and my water we could have made MUD!

  6. Shoot - as I hit post I realized I typed Roland ... I meant to call you Jeff. *blush* Sorry!

  7. Hi Roland. I just surfed by today and enjoyed this post. Imagination is a childhood ability that has been atrophied these days. My best friend and I created so many magical worlds and creative games - I miss those days. I do my best to encourage my son to invent his own fun rather than look to be entertained, if that makes sense.

    Enjoyed my visit here - I'll be back again.

  8. No worries. The name Roland suits me, and who's to stop me from another a.k.a. if that's what I want to do? Or a hyphenated middle name, even?

    Anyway, I agree with the atrophy syndrome you mention, and have no regrets re. encouraging my daughter's inventiveness vs. ready-made entertainment.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I enjoy reading your writing. Nice work.

  10. Thank you, Dianne.

  11. Did I ever follow up with you after recommending that film about a telekinetically murderous rubber tire?, the one called "Rubber" directed by Quentin Dupieux?

  12. There's a good chance you did, but an equally good chance that I don't remember it. I wouldn't remember the film either way, since I don't own a TV or similar viewing contraption. The teletype is no good for that sort of thing.