Posts Tagged ‘Contrasts’

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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I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did.

I thought I would hate it, but I didn’t.

What a great walk in the sun I had with the beast yesterday, AND I didn’t get eaten by a bear! (see my previous blog if this makes no sense to you). The sun was bright and warm, the path was littered with friendly people, and I could walk at my own pace.

At my own pace … walking alone.

Walking alone I was able to set my own pace 🙂 . I didn’t have to deal with my hubby’s excessive speed …

Oh boy, I suppose I need to fess up about the excessive speed issue. This is where I could use a 12 Step program, because, you see, I am innately, wholly, aggressively competitive. When we walk together hubby does start the walk at speeds that could be clocked at Nascar. But, once my joints are loosened up (numb enough that I feel nothing anymore) the monster within me takes over. This monster cannot be led anywhere! It is a strong-willed, arrogant, Type A personality within me that has, not a need for speed, but a need to be in the lead!

Sometimes, while hubby and I are a-walkin’ and a-talkin’ I even hear voices from the monster within! ‘Carole, he’s gaining on you; Carole, don’t let him pass you; Carole, you are stronger, move your keester.’ It is very distressing! But, alas, I have digressed yet again.

Walking alone, there was an absence of the monster within, there was no competition. I could try to compete with my beast, but, lets face it, she’s got the endurance of a race horse. Even my monster within knows better than to try to out-walk a 55lb., 6-year old canine. So, without hubby, I didn’t get as far down the trail, as when he is there.

Walking alone, my joints didn’t cry out to Jesus for relief in the first 15 minutes of the walk.

Walking alone, I had the opportunity to see and drank in the beauty around me. When you are walking like a race car, there is no journey, only destination.

Walking alone, I had to buy my own blended ‘Naked Juice’ drink after the walk!

Walking alone, I had to ‘scoop the poop’ … wait a minute, nothing has changed here!

And that is where this two-part entry began … walking alone. It was a day of contrasts. There were good differences and bad, walking alone. But, with hubby or alone, the path remains the same. The bends are still there, the hills are still there, the shady trees are still there (the stinky outhouse is still there). What changes is my experience of the path.

I hope that the experience of walking alone will help me to see afresh how wonder-filled this path is.

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