I am pretty confident you are already familiar with the expression “dance like nobody’s watching.”(1) A lovely remark — no doubt — which most of us will never put into practice. Maybe I should just speak for myself. I am pretty sure I couldn’t pull off dancing with abandon in a crowd.
However, I was witness to such a dance not that long ago.
Saturday, March 3rd, on a nippy evening, I was sitting on the bleachers of a High School football field watching my son’s team; grown men enjoying a favored game long past their High School years.
Families and friends sparsely occupied real estate on the hard and cold metal benches, cheering for their respective loved ones.
My daughter-in-law was pacing on the concrete walkway between the stands and the field chasing after her eleven-month-old son, her three-year-old daughter following close behind. You see, little man, aka my grandson, recently mastered the art of being erect and now, that’s all he wants to do.
Sitting in the stands?
Sitting is for parents, grandparents, and babies. Basically, anyone who has either not mastered the art of walking yet, or who mastered it decades ago.
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Suddenly, some music blared from the overly loud speakers. At which point, my granddaughter broke into some pretty gnarly dance moves.
I smiled, as did many others.
Here she was: pink, twirly, sparkly princess dress over some black leggings, with flowery sandals on her feet, hair flying to the wind, dancing with absolute abandon.
Granted, the stands were not packed — nor where they empty for that matter. All eyes were focused on this little girl. She was either oblivious or didn’t care one whit about the attention she drew.
She was dancing without reservation.
It didn’t occur to this little girl to feel self-conscious about her off-beat gyrations, or about the people peering and smiling down at her from the bleachers.
Neither was she concerned about her hair, her make-up (or lack thereof), her body shape, or her fashion sense.
She felt like dancing and dancing she did.
A Dancing Lesson
As I watched her with a gleaming smile on my face, I was struck by her spunk and her zest for life, as well as her unapologetic relish and joy of the present moment. This pint-size girl had no nostalgia or regret for the past and no concern or worry for the future.
All she exhibited was pure unabated abandon for the “now.”
I wondered: when do we lose this dazzling spontaneity and this disregard for what others may think of us? When do we lose ourselves to the roles we are expected to play and carry out?
Zest for Life
When does existing become burdensome, or shame causes us to hide? When do we lose the exhilarating feeling for life’s beauty? When do we abdicate to the external and artificial demands of various groups rather than show up as we were meant to be and instead, let others adjust?
I — for one — relished in the gift this unfettered beauty in pink and curls was giving us, was giving me. She was lost to the beat of the music and to a world all her own where I assume she is the “rose Goddess.”
Her world is a sacred one which we can enter solely with joy and purity of heart, and where burdens must be cast at the door upon entry. No darkness allowed.
There was such magnificence in this precious moment. I wanted to reach for my camera, but I didn’t, afraid I’d break the spell. This fleeting moment was pregnant with magic. It was a gift, a treasure, and in many ways a lesson.
I smiled. My daughter-in-law smiled. All who saw her smiled.
I want to be like her when I grow up.
Maybe I’ll invest in a sparkly princess dress and a pair of black leggings. I’ll replace the flowery sandals with a glitzy tiara, and I’ll go barefoot. Then, I will surely dance like nobody is watching, maybe….