Do you remember visiting a circus show as a child? The season of the circus has started in Denmark. In my town, from now on, a large green area just next to the sea shore will for months to come house colourful tents, exotic and less exotic animals, acrobats, beautiful women and clowns. Different companies will establish here their temporary homes for a few weeks, bringing entertainment and excitement.
I pass this spot every day on my drive to work and just this week, circus ARENA has parked all its red and yellow wagons in a semi circle, surrounding the large plastic construction, draped over poles, decorated with shiny neon lights.
It is the same every spring. The circus appears out of nowhere; one day the spot is pristine clean, the next day, as if it grew out of the ground over night, there it stands, a fairground in all its magnificent glory. The circus always arrives in the stillness of the night and the tent is erected during the quiet hours of the dawn. It takes skill and incredible sense of order to get everything ready in a timely, organized fashion.
The history of the term circus stretches back to Ancient Rome. Influenced by the Greeks, it was a building for the exhibition of horse and chariot races, equestrian shows, staged battles, displays featuring trained animals, jugglers and acrobats.
I have often wondered how it feels to be working in this traveling show. Being confined to a small caravan for months at a time, finding oneself in a different location every few weeks. Having to work hard, often in a foreign country, for most likely not a very large pay. Living a nomads life, trying to raise children in an environment that is always changing, offering very little solitude or security.
But then again, it is a life filled with the promise of adventures ahead at all times. With no boring routine to spoil ones days, when anything is possible. A certain sense of freedom, where possessions are scarce and company always cheerful. When family is extended and where sad seclusion is removed. Friends are never far away and laughter always present. When hard work is rewarded by the exciting faces of children, who watch ones every move with astonishment and awe.
Maybe it is a life one can truly envy.