For our prompt of “Circus” today, I thought back to when I was a kid. So, we have a little baby elephant on a ball with some colorful balloons. Today, these elephant acts are thankfully a thing of the past, but back when I was young, I just found it all quite incredible. Each time the circus would come to town when I was a kid, my parents would take me to visit. It was such a fantastic atmosphere with lights shining in all directions and the smell of popcorn and cotton candy thrilling my senses. As a little kid, it was practically overwhelming and I remember staying very close to my parents as we entered the auditorium. Indeed, our seats were always the least expensive ones that were closer to the back. So, the three rings where the acts were performed could all be seen at once, but looked a bit small. That’s probably what made the elephants seem so impressive as their size made them the easiest thing I could see clearly. But, I didn’t mind the view. I’d entered a magical world were the impossible was suddenly made possible.
While I never wanted to be in the circus when I grew up, I did have dreams of performing under those lights. It all just seemed really cool. And I loved all of the color and spectacle of it all. It was a brilliant display and, as a kid, definitely seemed like the greatest show on earth. Even after seeing the same and similar acts year after year and knowing what was coming next, I was still always on the edge of my seat with excitement. Indeed, when the trapeze artists were swinging through the air, it wasn’t impossible for one of them to take an early tumble into the net waiting below. I remember the audible gasps from the audience each time it happened, even though the net captured them safely every time. It was sad to hear the announcement a few years ago that after 146 years, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus was closing for good. This was the same one I attended as a child. The original concept of the circus has been replaced with more successful shows like Cirque du Soleil, which is truly impressive in its own right.
So many things from my childhood still exist today, but I get a bit of extra nostalgia for the things that simply don’t exist anymore. I still have my memories as long as those last and that’s a wonderful thing indeed. In truth, what I remember is far more grand than it actually was. There’s something about being small that makes everything seem larger than life. Those childhood memories have a special magic all their own. And, indeed, over the years as I grasp for them, I’m quite certain I’ve added little embellishments along the way. It’s less a documentary and more of an epic adventure. A wild and wonderful experience where over forty clowns piled out of a car just as forty elephants came marching out of a gigantic red curtain. Next, twenty monkeys came out riding bikes, followed by a gigantic bear on the tiniest unicycle as the ringmaster announced the arrival of hundreds of lions and tigers. Yeah, that didn’t happen quite like that, but I’ve learned there’s something even more magical to be found in those circus memories.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!