Gowns…Crowns… and Chocolate Cake…
Shy smiles, nervous giggles, fidgety limbs. It was Parents Observation Day at my granddaughters’ dance academy. Her daddy, my son, was elbow deep in his pick-up truck diesel engine with my hubby. That meant there was a spot for me!
As we walked through the door of the dance studio, I was greeted with a rush of noise and the blur of bodies running everywhere. Parents were herding younger siblings while making certain their dancers had the right dance apparel on. Squeals of excitement, shouts, and mommas greeting one another, filled the air with familiarity and “here we are again-ness”. It was a jumbled, chaotic, explosion of sound and movement that washed joy right over the top of me…and the classes hadn’t even started yet! Children exude an innocence and zest for life that is contagious.
I followed my daughter-in-law into a simple room with chairs along one side for us, wall mounted ballet barres, a calm ballet instructor, and mini ballerinas scooting to find their X on the floor to position themselves. Muscles were stretched and choreograph rehearsed. The instructors voice was gentle and melodic as she guided her students through their ballet positions.
As I was taking pictures of my granddaughter my eyes suddenly teared up. I began this crazy inner dialogue. “What in the world is this??” “Where did this come from?” “I’m just in a dance class.” “What is it that is touching something deep in my soul so unexpectedly?”
As a follower of Jesus I believe that all of life is sacred. There are no secular or sacred boxes that I jump in and out of as I live out my life on this earth. Scrubbing my toilet, watching TV with my husband, or sipping coffee with a friend, is as holy as attending a worship service. Every second of my day is holy. My sudden surprise of tears was an indication that God was fixin, (as my Mississippi son-in-law would say) to reveal something to me…heal something in me.
I blinked back the tears and continued to watch and listen. The instructor was guiding the dancing littles through a series of movements. She desired their posture to be straight and regal, their arm motions fluid and graceful, and their attitude one of confidence and sparkle. These were her instructions,”Imagine yourself in a beautiful gown… sweep your arm over and around your head as if placing a crown…and extend your hand as if delicately balancing a slice of chocolate cake.”
As I continued to watch the mini dancers, I reveled over their complete enjoyment as they preened, leapt and had unabashed fun with each other. There was no competition. No comparisons. No judging of performance.
Isn’t this picture of innocence and freedom what we yearn for? I know I do. Some days I achingly wonder how friendships get so complicated and splintered. How we adults build fences around our hearts and shut each other out. There’s a little girl in me that peeks out every once in a while. She’s shy and not sure what others will think of her freedom, her giggles, her desire to dance and spin. She’s longing for friends who will take her hand and journey with her…no comparing…no competing…no judging….no fences.
There’s a little J inside of me,
She longs to dance and be wildly free.
She’s holding out her hand to you,
Will you bravely reach out your hand, too?
Every morning, as I sleepily stumble to make my coffee, I’m going to swoop my hand over my head and set my crown in place. I hope you’ll do the same! Maybe, just maybe, we can face the world as friends, sisters… we’ll stand a little straighter… hold our heads a little higher…laugh and take pleasure in each other’s uniqueness…and, of course, we’ll eat chocolate cake for breakfast.
(If you are one of my gentleman readers…I hope you share this post with the lovely ladies in your life.)