My dad died just over 18 years ago at this time of year. I realize that qualifies as a lifetime ago. And rather poetically my son managed to be born on exactly the same day that my father died. We come. We go. (No pun intended.)
And every year at this time I think about my dad and these 2 juxtaposed life-altering experiences. Death. Birth. And what I am struck by this year is another favourite memory of my father…and how he may well have had a part in my deep love of dance. I don't remember where we were when this happened. I am sure it happened on several occasions. I can tell you we were somewhere in the Midwest United States in the late 60’s or early 70’s.
I CAN remember the sensations and smells so clearly. The swooping feeling. The giddiness and grinning from ear to ear. The movement made my dark auburn curls sway back and forth. And then there was the dusty wooden floor and faint scent of women’s perfume and men’s shoe polish. The thrill and delight and ecstasy of feeling safe, supported, and cherished. My huge giant of a father waltzing me around the slightly dull worn oak dance floor with grace and ease and delight. And light is what I felt… both a physical weightless quality and a giddyness as well as a kind of unstoppable radiance beaming from my heart.
It's the little things that matter. And as I remember and still grieve my father, this little memory brings me great joy in the deep dark grey of winter. So always remember dads, cherish your daughters. Let them stand on your shoes and dance them around the ballroom while you still can. The grace and beauty of that dance will last her whole life long.