I had gotten a smokin' deal on the Cirque Mechanic tickets over a month earlier, and the week before the show a new round of what felt like external bombardments began.
Busyness and unpleasant appointments came at me, with people in authority trying to get me to be elsewhere at the time of the show.
I told them no.
It wasn't easy, and I felt pretty pressured to just make things convenient, but I held my ground. I didn’t explain why, only that I was unavailable at that time, and we would need to reschedule.
(This is miraculous growth, because if you know me, I tend to over-explain everything, but I doubt they would have understood or seen the importance in going to watch people fly through the air. And I had tickets dang it, and I was going to take my girl to the circus!)
The day came, and as I watched in awe, I knew without a doubt that I was in the right place.
These people were talented, and their acts had me smiling and wowing like a 4 year old. Any time you can get to feel those kinds of smiles, I’d say it’s a good idea to go for it. But when you’re dealing with outside stress and suckiness that can make your stomach hurt and hair turn grey, it’s more important than ever to protect whatever potential joy you can grab.
And watching grown people who get to travel around and do flips on trampolines for their job definitely brought me all kinds of joy.
I was so impressed with what I was seeing that my mind couldn’t help but thinking of all kinds of metaphors for the circus and life. Even for a woman who loves metaphors as much as I do, it was a lot.
But it made sense then, and it still does now. To me at least.
The acrobats were not just talented and entertaining, they were totally inspirational. The strength that they’ve developed, the practice and devotion they’ve gone through to get to the point where they almost always land on their feet is amazing.
And when they don’t land on their feet, they get up and shake it off, they get their head back in, smile and go on with the show.
Watching them work in pairs and groups, I couldn’t help but think of the trust they’ve built~ you have to believe that person is going to catch you. The communication was wordless, but it was clearly there.
Each person knew that it couldn’t be all about them.
They had to take turns, watch where each other were landing, and work together to make it all look seamless.
I’ve been involved with enough theatrical performances to know that it wasn’t seamless. It was work. Fun work, but still work.
As in all of life, things sometimes went wrong, but they just didn’t lie down and cry or quit when that happened. They kept going, with the common goal of putting on a great show. And that they did.
The kind of strength it takes to do what these people do is huge, and it’s not just the physical kind, although holy moly, lemme tell ya, they were a physically fit bunch. But doing what they do to make people smile takes emotional strength and huge bravery~ not just to hang upside down 15 feet in the air, but to say to the world, “I’m going to go travel with the circus!”
That’s bravery if I’ve ever seen it.
Once again, the lessons in our happy homeschool are as much for me as they are for my kids, and more about life than academics.
I had gone to Cirque Mechanic to be entertained, but I left inspired.
Aside from wondering if my family too needs a trampoline (I’m well aware that I may never fly through the air quite like they did, but my goal isn’t to go pro, it’s just to have fun…)
I came home feeling encouraged to be brave, keep practicing so I get stronger, and when I miss, to get back up and keep smiling, because after all... the show must go on!