Dancing for Joy

You would think a baby dancing in a highchair wouldn’t be life-altering, but for me it provided enough of a respite to let my soul celebrate. We all have a lot of scary stories going on right now, about our health, our politics, and our earth. We absorb these stories and then simply accept the thoughts they create:

  • We’re not going to survive this
  • I’ll never be as happy as I was before this happened
  • Nothing good happens anymore

I hear these comments every single day on the news, in stores, and from neighbors. And I wonder if it’s true – I wonder if all the light has been snubbed out in a year of global pandemics and fierce division.

What if this is it? What if tomorrow morning the world looks like Blade Runner or Mad Max and there’s nothing but dust and chains and darkness? There’s a reason I never liked sci-fi movies – because I was always terrified that might be exactly how we end up.

And as my thoughts elevated my blood pressure, and lowered my spirits, and caused my breathing to escalate and my palms to sweat, I focused on the baby in front of me. The baby dancing in his highchair to the music only he could hear, allowing the joy of simply being alive to provide the rhythm to which he moved. That little boy was dancing in spite of the whole apocalyptic fear impacting the adults surrounding him.

He was living in the moment.

And when he spotted me watching him, sunshine emanated from him in the form of a smile. He threw his hands up in the air, spraying the room with slobbery cracker pieces. Ah, said my soul in that moment, I get it. There is something familiar in that smile, a sense of being at home.

Because in the present moment, in that exact moment with the dancing baby,  there was no mass death, there were no zombies surrounding me, there was no fearful predator breathing down my neck. This bundle of light and I were at home, sitting in the joy that we are all meant to know.

So I started to dance along. And while dancing badly but enthusiastically, I realized that we are all given the same precious moments. And although some of them are dark, the majority of our moments, if paid attention to, sparkle like stars in the sky . . .and we miss them completely because our thoughts are running ahead, sweating, anticipating something worse.

I have found that when dark times come, I am more prepared when I have allowed myself to fuel up on the light. And on that day, the baby filled my tank and provided an experience I would never forget.

In that moment, we became one star, shining and dancing in the proverbial sky of joy.