I always wondered what it would be like to run away and join the circus.
Like many children, I stared at the acrobats, eyes open in wonder as they defied gravity. The clowns made me both happy and a little frightened, and the Ringmaster commanded my undivided attention as he enticingly described the acts to follow.
Little did I know Circus Sarasota would offer me the opportunity to be Ringmaster, blow the whistle and open the show under the big top.
Chuckle the clown guided me backstage where I donned a high hat and the whistle. My name was announced and I entered center stage.
The lights so bright I could barely see the audience. Then I started to focus and saw hundreds of families and kids, and they all had that expression of wonder on their faces.
At first I was nervous, would I stand up to other guest Ringmasters or would I fall flat on my face? But, after a second I realized this was an opportunity to have kids of all ages remember that feeling of excitement and wonder.
"How many of you want to join the circus?" I asked as I pointed the microphone in the direction of the crowd.
"I do!" shouted the audience.
From that moment, I knew that Circus Sarasota Ringmaster could now be crossed off my bucket list as a success. But, I would welcome the opportunity again, anytime should there be one.