I’m a bit sad.
I didn’t think much of it at first. It was just another headline which caught my eye for a fleeting moment. Ringling Brothers final show.
But these last few days it’s been sinking in.
The place where, as a young girl, I first fell in love with elephants. Launching a life-long obsession with all things pachyderm. Books, photos, figurines.
The thing my friends and I wanted to run away and join.
I took my oldest boy to his first circus when he was three months old.
We took my youngest just a few months ago.
I got the best seats in the house (thanks to my job) for my niece several years in a row, because she ran through the house screaming excitedly, “the fucking circus is coming!” A little irreverent, yes, but…
You just can’t squash that kind of joy.
And now, tonight, after running nearly 150 years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey will take down its tent for the final time.
It’s making me a bit nostalgic.
There are so few things with that kind of stamina. In this age of technology, advancement, and things moving faster and faster, it was kind of nice knowing there was something still around from a more slowly-paced time.
So I think this evening, I may sit myself down in front of my technological wonder, the television, and imagine for a moment, that I’ve stepped back in time…
I can hear the train rolling into town.
I am watching the tent going up.
Costumed performers are dancing and twirling.
Three rings await me.
Promises of high wires, acrobatics, trapeze.
Tamed tigers, dancing horses, elephants.
Jumping through rings of fire, being shot from a canon, flying through the air with the greatest of ease.
I can almost smell the popcorn and cotton candy. The dirt and hay. The animals.
I can hear the ringmaster welcoming me.
Step right up!
Come one, come all!
Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages!