It's the end of the Giffords Circus season and a time of goodbyes. You have lived with the circus village on tour since the spring and suddenly it's autumn. The ground is wet, the evenings are dark. The circus lights seem brighter in the dark and the warm bright intensity of the tents contrasts with the mud and brown leaves outside. "We love your house” one of the performers said to me yesterday in the back, and he was not talking about my house but the tent, because that is how the tent is to us. It is where we live. At the end of the season the house is about to disappear. And as the house disappears, so do the people – car loads of Cubans to Heathrow, caravans gliding away down the drive, lifts to train stations, even people on foot along the road.
How do you say goodbye? How do you say thank you? I can’t find a way to say thank you to performers that will genuinely express my gratitude for their extraordinary generosity. How can you express the fondness, the connection, the love, the hope that you will see each other again one day and that you know that the fondness will still be there. Sometimes you say goodbye and you never see that person again and it's very strange because you have risked life and limb and heart together in the same house for six months and then suddenly the music stops and it is over.
My daughter Red has become very attached to our lovely Ukrainian gymnast Alina and she went to school today being brave about the fact that Alina is on her way back to Kiev. We will stay in touch online but still the adjustment is difficult. The connection is deep and powerful. And the magic of circus is that you can see each other again, on other circuses, in other countries, and those unions are when the sadness of goodbye is reversed into the joy of a hello. The circus village is truly a global village.