Tuesday, August 08, 2006

enchanting the ordinary

The county fair is here.

Try not to be overwhelmed.

Actually it's a big deal, here. It always has been. Back in the day, it was the highlight of my summer. I remember riding with the neighbors in their station wagon for Youth Day, and when we got there the mom opened up the back of the car and spread out a blanket and we ate ham salad sandwiches and drank Kool-Aid in a styrofoam cup before hitting the fairgrounds.

We'd look at the chickens and the cows and the horses and pigs like we'd never seen such animals before. The amusement rides were rickety and the games of chance flashily seductive. I couldn't say how neon lights and canopies in primary colors can make a stretch of farmland so exciting.

There's something about a carnival that whispers of transformative powers: that enviable gift of enchanting the ordinary.