my beautiful circus

It’s that time of year again. The mysterious white Giffords Circus big top is making its way from town to town, flanked by glossy maroon liveried wagons. In a matter of hours, a field, a park or a village green is transformed into something altogether more magical, a secret world of tricks and adventure, of music, laughter and colour.

We’ve been visiting Giffords every summer since we moved out of the city almost seven years ago, and the magic of it never grows old. Every show is unique, each more spellbinding than the last, yet moments inside the sawdust-scented darkness of the tent blend together, concertinaing time. When the band strikes up and the show begins, all the moments of my children’s wide-eyed laughter swirl together.

It could be the first summer that we visited, bowled over by the timeless wonder, or the summer that I took a babe in arms who slept the whole way through. The summer that the boys sat on their grandparents’ laps, laughing together at the joy of it; the summer that we picnicked on the common before the show; the summer that my youngest spent weeks afterwards pretending to be Tweedy the clown. Taking our seats in the tent, we step back into each of those shows, each of those summers, each of those past selves, the laughter of previous years echoing around us before the acts have even begun.

The joy of the circus brings us together, tangling us in its wild and carefree charms. These are memories that I hope we shall always treasure. Stepping out of the tent into the sunshine, the notes of the organ drifting through the air, my boy’s hot little hand held tight in my own, I am already longing for the day that we will return.

You’ll find some of my previous trips to the circus here and read more (or buy tickets) here.

{Our Giffords Circus tickets were gifted to me but all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.}

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