Friday, August 21, 2015

Rain and Dancing

The tropical heat has given way to rain this morning.

I live in western Massachusetts, in New England, but sometimes I feel like I live in Florida. I hate humidity. Pretty soon I'll walk down to look at the brook in the ravine behind the house and find an alligator basking in the hazy sunshine instead of a rattlesnake basking in the sun!

This has all brought to mind some more memories of my childhood. My mother was always big on sending us out to play in the rain. We had rain dances and snow dances. As long as there was no lightning, we could run out and dance in the rain, splash in the puddles, whoop and holler like wild beasts and generally have fun. Here's the amazing thing- sometimes she'd join us!

We were always sent out to dance and catch snowflakes in the first snowfall of the season.

I have carried on those traditions with Kelly. One of the most powerful things I ever wrote was titled Snow Dance. It was a personal memoir about my sending Kelly out to dance on the back deck in the first snowfall of the season- how she had been standing a the window waiting for that first flake to fall. It was a rite of passage, the carrying on of a family tradition, a vivid memory for me of my mother doing the same thing- and it was also about aging, growing up, growing older- the cycles of life- and remaining young in spirit, thinking about going out and dancing in the first snow when I'm old- reconnecting with my daughter, my mother, my grandmother- all of us snow dancers.

Unfortunately, I have to go to work today, and so does Kelly. She's already gone out, umbrella in hand. I'll be leaving soon. John is working from home today. His mother didn't let them play out in the rain. She doesn't sound like she was much fun, as far as mother's go, and I feel bad for him that he missed these kind of moments growing up. He really doesn't know how to have simple, joyous fun.

When Kelly was younger, if it was pouring out, we might also have grabbed umbrellas and gone out barefoot to take a walk around the block, puddle jumping and splashing one another. There has to be fun and frivolity in life, spontaneous moments when you cast aside reservations and just do it because it makes you laugh and feel good inside.

At work, I do the Friday dance and so, now, do some of my co-workers. It's just a brief couple of moves while chanting, "It's Friday!" Those who don't dance watch and smile. It sets the mood of the day, it makes us happy.

So= Happy Friday! Wherever you are, whatever you're going to be doing today, begin your day with the Friday Dance and smile!

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