When I was 10 years old, living in El Paso, Texas, I used to watch a kid’s program after school on the television… the host rode in on a horse. That made it quite important to get home and get the TV on quickly. One day, the host announced an art contest. Draw or paint a clown (there was a new host joining him who was a clown) and win a special prize.

I didn’t even know what the prize would be, but I had drawn and painted since I was 3 years old. The story was told that I tried to look at ants with a magnifying glass at age 3. The ants were moving too much, so I drew a bunch of ants and looked at them through the glass…

Hopeful for some equine related prize, I painted a clown. And, from thousands of entries, I WON the contest! Still not knowing what I had won, I, along with my family, was a guest at a circus and we were on TV… then, I was awarded my prize. It was a purple unicycle. A purple unicycle.………

I spent a few weeks trying to ride it. I decided I hated purple (which included all the bruises) and sold the unicycle to a neighbor boy. The twenty dollars I got for it paid for 2 riding lessons at Upper Valley Stable where I spent every weekend anyway. I learned to love purple again after a couple of decades. It was actually a cool lesson for me, looking back on how it all felt. I had the elation of winning with something created by my own young hands. I had the sharp sting of reality with a gift I could not enjoy but found a way to turn it into something I did want. And, now seeing how my life unfolds, I was being prepared for the sublime strangeness that is my world.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Never a dull moment could be my mantra and surprises wait around every turn. When life hands you a unicycle, turn it into riding lessons.


Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Purple

  1. Martha

    I LOVE IT! What a great story and life lesson :0)

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