When I was little, I lived in a big, old blue gray house with a covered patio on the front and a huge, telescoping, triangular TV antenna in the back. Ask my Dad about that one. Our house sat about a half a block away from the highway and on the other side of the street, right next to the highway, was an ancient abandoned house. My sisters told me it was haunted. But I didn’t believe them because they lied to me about a lot of things—like when they told me to never drink anything anyone gave me because it probably had poison in it—of course, Mom and Dad were excluded from the “anyone”. Anyway, one summer, a man with a big trailer came and parked his car in the empty lot by the haunted house. And the next day he opened up that trailer and in it was a miniature carnival! For Real! My husband thinks I’m lying.
Anyway, I loved this miniature menagerie and I begged to go see it often. I’m not sure why my parents trusted my 7 and 9 year old untruthful sisters to accompany me to this attraction run by a scraggly, bearded, and most probably homeless man, but they did, so we went. I don’t think the carnival was there all summer, but it was present long enough for me to be mesmerized by the little merry-go-round, the tiny boardwalk with its many games and wee prizes, and the realistic looking cotton candy. As the music played and the lights blinked, I would visualize myself high in the diminutive ferris wheel-- even though I was scared to ride the ferris wheel in real life. I would hear the little people beneath me laughing and enjoying the carnival and all its charms. And I was little too—like a tiny fairy. It was a goal of mine to become tiny like that some day. It never happened.
When I think of this memory, it always makes me happy. Most probably, the magical carnival that I remember was some guys attempt at making a dime. It was probably gaudy and cheap and made of a conglomeration of children’s toys and glue. Probably the ferris wheel was jerky and unimpressive and run by a 9 volt battery. But to my eyes, to the eyes of a child, with a new mind unfilled with notions of what is “junk” and what is “beauty”, to my eyes, it was beautiful.
Isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder? In my 5 year old mind, I saw that miniature carnival as beautiful and dazzling, and so in my 43 year mind, I still see it that way. It makes me happy just to think of it.
That’s all. I just wanted you to know. And to share my joy. Because joy is good.
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”