Stampede it Up!

There is a time for everything …
a time to weep and a time to laugh
a time to mourn and a time to dance
(Ecclesiastes 3)

DSC_0576And a time to put on cowboy boots—Yeehaw!

I chatted with a couple from England, we were both in the line for cinnamon buns, having just missed one of the 20,000 free pancake breakfast tickets, part of Family Day at the Calgary Stampede.
The long line ups had the Brit’s coffee finished before their buns were even ordered, whereas my friend and I had split up, and managed to purchase coffee and cinnamon buns that arrived at the same time.
For one fun day with a friend from Zimbabwe, my eyes IMG_0201delighted with eye-popping creativity—artistry, athleticism, body stretching Peking acrobatics, and the cowboys’ perseverance, alongside a deep-fried version of almost anything edible.
For the rodeo we had our choice of standing room only tickets … stand up close and personal at the tarmac level in the hot sun, or on the seventh level shaded nose bleed section … we opted for the shaded nose bleeds … from above we saw the RCMP Musical ride pattern. One or two horses and riders IMG_0146individually were striking, but the coordination of rows of black horses in formation crossing in mountie red patterns was impressive … the bigger picture brought new life to my soul. We saw a cowboy dust off his chaps after being bucked off, as the announcer told him tomorrow was another IMG_0189chance, today wasn’t his day. Same announcer also said, It’s all about the money. And I thought it was all about the hats and boots, cowboy hats and boots of all colours and size everywhere.
Dodging dangerous bulls was made easy from the rodeo clown’s perspective. He scrambled up the gate just as the long horns charged and missed his target this sunny day.
The two sided coin of Diversion—delightful for a while, but detrimental when relied on for a life time. The beauty of this day, for a short period, I delighted in each of the moments. Which of you by worrying can add one hour or minute to a life? I remembered how a Moroccan woman told my daughter that, For just a little while you helped us forget our troubles, after a celebration where my sisters and I danced, henna’d and sipped mint tea with the local North African ladies.
To everything there is a season, a time to laugh, and a time to cry
Sometimes all seasons happen in one day.
IMG_0080When the sudden hail storm hit rodeo city at suppertime, all walks of life dashed for cover. We waited out the weather in the company of the volunteers of The Summer Kitchen replica … with memorabilia of my grandmother’s era along the log walls … a reminder of the ongoing changes of life and seasons.
A breath of fresh air, does not take away the pains that come our way, but it gives opportunity to re-energize and to gain perspective. The world is not only a waiting room … it is also a living room, and sometimes we wait out the storms in shelter. For me, distraction had its purpose and place that day. Frugality can be over-rated, especially when it comes to the soul.

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
Oscar Wilde

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