What is it about a Ferris Wheel?

Ferris Wheel-2

I have considered something I heard in a movie a long time ago. A grandmother was comparing life to a Ferris Wheel and a Roller Coaster. She believed that many of her friends preferred the Ferris Wheel to the Roller Coaster suggesting that the latter was more thrilling. “A Ferris Wheel simply goes round and round” she said.

While in HK I took two shots from different perspectives of the same Ferris Wheel – different angles and different times of day. And of a different ride – more of a free fall. It got me thinking about whether there are times when riding a Ferris Wheel is more suitable than a roller coaster.

Lately life has been a free fall of sorts for me and my family – much like being on a roller coaster. We are managing the turns of lives upside down with uncertainty at each drop and spin around the next bend. Our hearts beat faster for each other as our stomachs flip and we white knuckle our way through each rise and fall. We know that when the ride is over we will share harrowing stories, laugh at the adrenaline rush, and share in tempting fate and beating the odds.


I think about the predictability of the Ferris Wheel – simply going round and round. One of the reasons I like the Ferris Wheel is the view from the top. There is something magical about seeing from the pinnacle the landscape below. And when done, to step from the car to the ground with solid footing – not the weak knee’d stomach churning departure from the Roller Coaster.

ferris wheel-3

Metaphorically I like the perspective of the Ferris Wheel. I enjoy the view. The slow rise to the challenge and the soft drop to the ground. There is magic in a car full of family and friends who are on the ride with you sharing in the ups and downs. Sure, there is a place for thrills, but the rhythms of a Ferris wheel suit me fine.


  1. Jennifer, this is such a beautiful commentary on the lives of you and your family. Yes, you are sharing the ups and downs, and the journey through the grief is demanding. On the other side you will treasure the memories.



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