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Archive for April 5th, 2018

cris bdayIt was a trying time, when I was in my years of having babies … dreaming of … praying for babies.

You were the seventh confirmed pregnancy … I knew better than to imagine your future, my future with you, your future with your one older sister, your dad and I. It was always a tentative dance between excitement and frailty.

Sure enough, there was nothing confirmed about your future through all nine, nail-biting, knees bent in prayer months. Even your first breath was delayed … eternity in those moments.

Your first two years were like a smash dance of smooth public appearances mixed with screamo music coming from your lungs deep into every night. You had a voice, and you were not afraid to use it … when you chose to.

Then, you turned two and life with you went from,

a time to weep to a time to laugh
(Ecclesiastes 3:4a)

And your laughter was endless, rockus … and like your cries, it was loud and very much self-determined.

I recently looked back on pictures from the years of childhood of you three siblings, of your childhood, and I was astounded by how many I have of you dancing. You, mid-spin, in the midst of movement, of expression, of dancing.

And, my dear, life itself is a dance.

I did a little investigation in dance.

There is little known about the origins of dance, as it need only involve one’s body, mind and soul … no tutus have been unearthed in archeological digs of the middle east. Certainly there have been paintings in caves that show how dance was used in rituals, religions, cultures and events in early Egypt, Olympia and in early Hindu temples.

But dance, movement of one’s body, incorporating our souls (as in that naked dance before God, performed by David the King), is something that words cannot describe. It is an event, an experience that is innate, what we are made to do, as an expression, as a reaction to having been given breath, life.

As with David, it is an expression of truly getting it … understanding that to dance, like that, is what we were created for, with and by.

To dance, with abandon, is:

  • the butterfly, emerging from it’s cocoon, stretching it’s wings
  • those videos of cows, released from the barns in the spring
  • the baby (maybe delayed) but stretching out it’s lungs for that first breath
  • the little girl, or boy, twirling in circles … moving without a care in the world

I want this for you. This no-care-in-the-world freedom.

The thing is, life is made up of two parts, freedom and survival.

In the midst of life we need to strive for our very survival. We need to work, and struggle and sometimes it is just hard, it just hurts. We want the unabashed, joyful movement of being free indeed.

They go together … freedom and survival, tripping over ones feet and twirling on our toes, holding our breath and breathing, standing still and dancing with wild abandon. The parallelism from those contrasting verses of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) reminds we mortals that we were created to do it all … in the right time, but also that we do not walk either contrasting life experience without the ability of joy … without the ability of dancing through it all …

for it is what we were created for,

for it is how my mourning was turned to dancing (v. 4b),

in your delayed first breath, eternity in that moment.

So dance, birthday girl.

“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance”
I Hope You Dance

 

 

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