Here's to World Circus Day!
"Damn everything but the circus! ...damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won't get into the circle, that won't enjoy. That won't throw it's heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence."
We are doing it. I am amazed with us - mothers, fathers, children. It has been immensely difficult for many, but here we are, perhaps more flexible than we thought, a little more intimate with our mettle.
Tomorrow is World Circus Day and it has me thinking - what is it about circus that makes it such a wonderful enrichment to our lives, to the lives of our children? Of course it is fun, it is a great way to develop strength, creativity, coordination, gross and fine motor skills.
It is also a brilliant way to build relationships. It requires a level of trust in people, in apparatus, in oneself that is both beautiful and sometimes terrifying. It is this constant, playful, and intentional risk-taking, that builds the very mettle, the resilience we all had to muster this past year.
I’m not saying circus is the antidote to massive challenges, but it's good preventative medicine. There is something to be said for “throwing one’s heart into the tension.” I’m especially proud of the way we do it at Storycamp; outside, playing in our bodies while complimenting our physical experience with a deepening connection to nature.
We dance upside down, support one another in partner acrobatics, stand high upon stilts, don costumes and clown noses, weave juggling patterns with our brains and hands all under the heart-shaped leaves of cottonwoods, the wings of owls and red-tailed hawks. We excite a sense of wonder in the capabilities of our bodies while simultaneously being delighted by the world around us.
We cultivate an inner and outer care - one that is inherently playful, confidence-building and imbued with a constant practice of courage.
So here’s to us - to all that we have experienced the last 14 months and the courage it has taken to get here. Here’s to the circus - to knowing "the round world, the full existence."