I’ve always been in awe at little ones who hear a simple tune and immediately their entire beings move in harmony with the music. Such a wonder to be so young, so free and so able to immediately be one with the melody surrounding them.
It seems as we grow older that dances become so much more complicated and with so many more nuances. We don’t just dance with ourselves, but with others in our lives who may be more or less adept at dancing. Sometimes we don’t even know with whom we’re dancing and sometimes it seems that we are all just dancing to our own personal music.
Dances can be as beautiful as a perfectly executed waltz or as painful as that first school dance with the predictably stepped on toes. The beauty of the dance is that adjustments and accommodations can be made, always making it possible for the dancers to continue in exquisite harmony with the music.
I remember a therapist talking to me about dances. It was probably a thousand years ago, when I finally acknowledged that the dance with the soon-to-be ex had become too painful to continue.
Change the dance, she said. He will either dance with you or the dance will be over.
As he is now the ex, you can guess how that advice turned out. I think I can safely say that it was excellent advice, knowing that the ex and I now occasionally dance far better as grandparents than we ever danced as spouses.
With age, I’ve become a bit more aware of nuances of the music and perhaps less tolerant of being held in a dance that is obviously uncomfortable for me. It becomes especially challenging when someone else is leading and my only choice is to continue dancing or sit it out.
I just recently came across an old Garth Brook’s song, appropriately titled The Dance.
And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way things would end, the way it would all go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.
The lyrics ring true of some of the dances I’ve been in. Even with sorely bruised toes, I would have never missed those dances, not in a million years.
So, here I am, here we all are, dancing our way into 2016 and, like most years, it will no doubt again be fascinating to see which dances will continue to charm us right into 2017, which dances or partners will change, and which dances will simply be finished.