Review: The essay begins in Florida at a practice ring for the circus. A woman is walking with a horse as it paces its way in a circle around the ring. The mood is like ".. .one of those desultory treadmills of afternoon from which there is no apparent escape.... The repetitious exercise, the heat of the afternoon, all exerted a hypnotic charm that invited boredom; we spectators were experience a languor..." The never-ending ring of time.
But then the scene changes to recall that this is a time of change in Florida—a time when white people ride in the front of the bus and black people ride in the rear. A time when black people are subservient to white people. A time when the Supreme Court has declared segregation must end. The narrator recognizes that change will happen. It is inevitable. The ring of time will be broken.
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. 1995.