Going to the circus is on my bucket list, and I have always, always wanted to go. It's a natural, carved-in-my-soul desire, mainly owing to the fact that I watched Dumbo entirely too many times as a kid, and absolutely adored it. Especially the very beginning, when the tough, vaguely frightening men hammer tent pegs in the rain. I haven't seen it in a long, long time.
When I found out that the Jordan World Circus (all the way from Las Vegas) was coming to a town nearby, with a poster that said "lots of elephants!" I just had to go. I am crazy about elephants (again, Dumbo) and my current most-wishing-to-do-right-now thing on my bucket list is ride an elephant. With the knowledge that this might have to wait until I go to Thailand or something (which I am loathe to do).
We sat down on old wood bleachers, ate popcorn steadily and watched one of the best days of my life occur. It started out with the tigers. For my entire life, I have been deeply obsessed with big cats of all kinds. But lately the tiger calenders and photos plastered all over my wall have abated, and so I kind of forgot how awesome they were.
But that moment, my first love came rushing back. Total awe at their crazy-awesome power and contradictory grace, combined with the nearly uncontrollable urge to wrap my arms around their necks and cuddle them within an inch of their life. Plus there were three white tigers, which are rare, stunning, and my best friends. It really was all I could do to keep myself from climbing in there and kissing them all.
There were also camels. Mostly they ran around in complicated ways. And I wanted to ride them. 'Cuz that's on my bucket list, too.
During the intermission, they let everyone swarm all over. They brought out the face paint, the pony rides, the inflatable slide... and the elephants.
And then, be still my heart, they had elephant rides. I watched other people get to do it and was content enough, while also freaking out because I was this close to my dream. I mean, it was probably too expensive... I was wearing a skirt....
Then Bethany, beautiful sister-of-my-soul,
...bought me a ticket. Insert CRAZY SCREAMING HAPPY DANCE IN A LARGE CROWD.
And she said "go--live your dream". (quote from Tangled). Actually, she didn't, but if she had, it would have been hilarious.
So I squashed onto the elephant saddle thing behind the little girl with the pleasant-smelling shampoo, hoped that my skirt did not tear asunder, and was very, very happy. Two things checked off of my bucket list in one day!
There were thrilling gymnasts, tight-ropers, crazy daredevil motorcyclists in a round wire cage, and one not-too-horrifying clown. But the elephants and the tigers were quite enough to let me die entirely fulfilled.