I believe in dancing. When Lee Ann Womack became famous for singing “I Hope You Dance”, I was reminded of an interview that appeared in my high school newspaper. I was asked what I would look for in a husband. With teenage assurance and immaturity, I said I would never marry someone who didn’t dance. How shallow can one be?
Actually the first date I had with my future husband was a gym dance. When we married two years later, I had grown up enough to know that his sterling qualities far outshone any lack of rhythm or skill on the dance floor. He was game to try but he didn’t really enjoy it.
I’ve wondered when singing the hymn “Lord of the Dance” in church, did Jesus dance? (I hope he did). Or was that the composer’s poetic way of saying he lived the abundant life? I look at dancing as more than joyful movement. It is sa frame of mind, an attitude as we approach the living of our lives, a metaphor for joyous, graceful Life Abundant.
Of course life can’t always be joyful. The Bible reminds us that for everything there is a season: “A time to build up, a time to tear down/ A time to dance, a time to mourn.” I have mourned the loss of many in my lifetime including that good husband. Here is what Dwight H. Judy says in “To Dance with the Waves”: Like waves rolling upon the shore
Life forces itself upon me,
Sometimes gently, sometimes
Standing immobile like a cliff
Against the onslaught of the ocean,
I am doomed to be shaped
By forces opplsing me.
But, ah, to dance with the waves
Like coastal sands, shifting, drifting,
Weaving patterns from each wave,
Playing violently or softly
This is to create of my life
A work of art.
This is the advice a granddaughter e-mailed to me: “Life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. There is no better time than right now.” And she concludes, “So work like you don’t need money, lover like you’ve never been hurt and dance like no one’s watching.”
Recently at another granddaughter’s wedding, my grandson asked me to dance to the toe-tapping music of a reggae band and there were a lot of reception guests watching. But you know what? I didn’t care.
I’m almost 85 and I plan to keep dancing —–if only in my dreams!
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