Even the mud from heavy rains that turned the parking lot (i.e, field) and the arena into a soupy mess played a part in the atmosphere. What is it about mud that brings out the good nature in people anyway? Even if we don't have a cowboy hat, the clown's corny jokes seem funnier and the stranger sitting next to you seems like a your long lost cousin. Maybe the mud makes the spectators feel like they are sharing in the adventure to a small degree. Like really, what's a little mud sucking at your flip-flops compared to the mudbath the cowboy get treated to every time he's thrown (repeatedly!) from a bucking broncho or snorting bull?
My picture taken on my cell at the rodeo this gorgeous Sunday isn't the best, but I never take good pictures at events where there is action or something I don't want to miss. This is an event like that. I can't do it, but I have a friend who documents everything with pictures and I'm never quite sure if I'm envious of her for preserving the moment or feel sorry she missed being 'in the moment. ' There is so much to be missed!
So, I don't really have a message to relate the rodeo to writing. Only that the experience itself, as a live event, is something to absorb as a shared experience. No notes, just a feeling to capture using your senses and awareness of that feeling of nothing being staged. At any moment, something can happen and you feel a part of it. This is the feeling that gives meaning and sincerity to the singing of the national anthem and, in the case of a rodeo, the "Cowboy's Prayer" (from the North Star Stampede programme, Effie, MN):
Our heavenly father,