Life experiences had knocked me down. Life had become a series of days of survival. breathing….putting on whatever was clean…saying a prayer for strength and braving my day with a tense smile and a broken heart. Self care wasn’t even a foreign concept, it was no concept at all. It seemed indulgent and something for the privileged. Someone with time, money, affection and care. I don’t know the moment where i realized i had stopped giving myself moments of joy. but it began to dawn on me that i had stopped treasuring the simple things, the pure things in life. the things that truly breathe vitality and a certain humility into our veins that stirs our souls and awakens joy again. i don’t remember the moment this dawned, but i remember the morning i set my phone on the bathroom counter and for the first time had decided my shower was going to become a luxurious moment. as the wonderful sound of the soulful saxophone started to play and the steam started to billow around my little bathroom i felt for the first time in years my blood pressure start to drop and a surge of joy and even a childlike moment where my toes started to wiggle and a little smile flickered across my face at the woman in the mirror that decided in that moment to change her life. i still every morning start my day with jazz in the shower. i highly recommend it.
I have a dream of being a ballet teacher to children one day. I see myself with my grey hair in a little ballerina bun bending low to hear the whispered requests of darling children. So one beautiful sunlit evening last summer after work, found me walking down 8th Avenue to my first ballet class at Alberta Ballet. I really don’t dance beyond myself with one of my children as hostages. My dog Charlie dances with me quite happily. So it is with anticipation and a lot of drummed up courage that I find myself making this happy trek. I meet one of my acquaintances from Nordstrom who worked in shoes along the way. He’s waiting for his taxi. I tell him where I’m going. He said with a flourish, “Of course, you’re a ballet teacher! How did I not pick up on that!” He clearly is a soothsayer, I say to myself. No, he is just ridiculously kind. But it did set me on my journey with a bit more confidence, strengthening my resolve that seemed to grow weaker with each step. Heartened, I press the buzzer to be let in. Clutching my gear tightly under my armpit. My finger was definitely trembling. My teacher is perfect. She’s delicate and blonde with even a heavy french accent. My heart is thrilled. I look around. There’s women and girls stretching. There is even a woman waiting to play the piano as we dance. I’ve never plied before. Ever. I didn’t even try it in the mirror before I left the house. Talk about winging it. But I’m excited. Long ago I lost my need to appear skilled. I just was so happy to be there. Participating. Enjoying this moment in time. It was a magical hour. I plied. I danced. I adored the rhythm of my wonderful teachers voice as we all dipped and twirled. It was such a pure expression of beauty. I’m even more impassioned to become a ballerina teacher to little children. For I feel, it takes more love and commitment to building their confidence then skill. But for now, I will build my skill. And i will learn to build my own confidence by each day stretching myself out of my comfort zone. I hope you will too today. Love you all.
Winter with its dark long nights and the heavy blanket of snowfall. The birds have hushed their voices and are warmly snuggled in their nests on some cold lonely branch. Families are huddled around the glow of firelight seeking out new hobbies and brushing up on the old. This season can bring along with its beauty a quietness we are uncomfortable with. We miss the lightheartedness of summer and the zest and energy we feel with the vitamin d coursing through our veins. Life is like the seasons. All seasons have their beauty. I often even still struggle with the silent seasons. Times of quietness and reflection. Where maybe the atmosphere is a little chillier than others and there needs some time near the warm fires within our souls. Where the true warmth of life is felt and nourishes our hearts. Springtime always dawns, and with it such hope and anticipation as the sun casts its loving warm rays across the sleeping landscape. It has waited in quiet faith for this moment. Nature doesn’t fight the cycle of life, doesn’t cringe at the inevitable changes it experiences. It settles in and quietly lets the seasons transform from one unique beauty to the other. I want to listen to my dearest friend when she says….honey, don’t fight it…..it’s the Silent Season.