Monday, December 21, 2009
And So She Danced
She leaned forward on the edge of the plush seat, binoculars in hand. Her eyebrows lifted as she waited. The lights dimmed and she inhaled quickly. We glanced at each other and grinned. It was coming.
And then the familiar Tchaikovsky strain, created long ago, whispered into the silent space. Violins gingerly tiptoed in one by one until an entire symphony of strings swelled with overture. The notes swirled about us, transforming the room into a magical world in which candy canes curtsied and dewdrops danced . . . .
Snow fell, mice threatened, soldiers marched, flowers blossomed. Mesmerized, she followed the story. "Who's that, Mama?" she whispered. "How old is the little girl?" she wondered (Perhaps my age? Could I do that? Mama knew what she was thinking). "Isn't she funny!" Her eyes widened as Mother Ginger took stage. "She's my favorite!" she stifled a giggle. And then more angels, shepherdesses and exotic treats. "They look like they're floating,
Mama . . . . " she whispered with a glow.
The curtain lowered and she sighed. "Can I get up for a bit?" she asked at intermission. "Sure, honey." We stretched our legs in the aisle, sizing up the stage and taking in the scenery.
Then it happened. She couldn't keep the beauty contained. She couldn't let the music stop. She couldn't let the feeling end. And so she danced. Her arms whirled and her toes skipped. She leapt and curtsied, twirled and pranced. The child, uninhibited, became the prima ballerina. And her joy was contagious. Another little girl swept into the aisle, and then another. A small boy tagged along. Each one responding to the beauty, wanting to be beautiful.
My heart ached as I watched the beauty of my child dancing before me, just as I had danced in that very auditorium -- perhaps even on that very aisle -- once upon a time. The emotions I experienced as a child were still with me. I remembered the uncontrollable desire to dance when I beheld beauty. The need to leap when my heart was full. The impulse to jump when my joy was brimming.
My girl danced, and I held on to that feeling, knowing that I want to remain young, even as I age. I want to dance when I behold beauty. I want to cry when the music swells. I want to sit on the edge of my seat, breathless, when the curtain lifts. My leaps may not be as graceful, and my tears may be diverted by a wrinkle or two. But that's okay. As long as there is beauty, this girl is going sweep into the aisles . . . and dance.