Friday, July 9, 2010

They Linger

The festival I work for opens tomorrow. We call the seven days before opening day Hell Week. The population in the park swells from an off-season high of 10 or 15 staff to 1,500 contracted participants during a relentless, breathless ingress of RVs, tents, animals and people, hundreds of people. We hook our radios on our hips to manage the torrent, working until we can't work anymore. After this frenzy, opening day unfolds.

Thousands of guests pour through the gates. Images long familiar to me captivate them.

For me, it is the echo of horses everywhere and how much I miss my own.

I glimpse horses here and there every day during Hell Week -- pass by rehearsals, see the huge trailers moving slowly down our winding back roads, hear the neighing of circuit horses anxious to settle in. I have horses too, I think to myself, fussing at that silly, irritating feeling of being left out, of wanting to be part of what I'm missing. This is where my horses came from, this temporary world of other times, other places where people pay to escape, but which reminds me today of the world I'm longing to get back to, the one where my horses linger.


Once Upon an Equine said...

Ah, I haven't been to a Renaissance Festival in years and years. Hmm? I should go this year. Good luck with the crowds. What kind of work do you do at the festival? Do you dress up?

Beth said...

I know the heartache well. I see horses riding down the trail in front of my house and think the same things. "I should be out there." "Hey I have a hose too!"

Even just riding at the barn I still feel on the outside as everyone else is going for trail rides and driving off the property. I feel like I have training wheels on.

We'll get there though. I know we will!

E said...

Oh that picture of J. - you have shown it to me before. What a stunning photo.

I am looking forward to seeing you tonight at the barn. Glad to have you back from Hell week!