There was a lot of shaking going on down at the beach last Saturday night for the annual Margarita & Fajita Party. Fueled by the music of a group of guys in their late fifties/early sixties, playing their guitars, drum and keyboard, and the backdrop of the setting sun, the crowd ranging in age from 16 months to 91 years rocked and laughed their way through the night. Surveying the crowd, my eyes watched folks who, over the past year, have struggled with cancer and other physical ills, unemployment, and the regular ups and downs of life. This slice of life was very touching. I was moved by the tenacity of the spirit of people and by the huge capacity humans have for having fun, despite a backdrop of worries.
Ninety-one year old Marie danced twice, busting out rhythms that were reminiscent of dance styles from the forties. At one point, Marie wobbled and almost fell. I grabbed and held onto her and we danced together until the end of the song. She rocked me hard to what seemed like a never ending song. Marie is now my hero and friend. I want to age like that -- to have the courage to 'bust my moves', whatever they are, wherever I am despite what anyone thinks.
Almost three year old Lily was also dancing with wild abandon, her sheer joy and energy a magnet for other, more timid folks to get up and shake it down. Marie and Lily, at the book-ends of age, showed those of us at the in-between ages what we tend to forget, that inside us we still have the capacity for unadulterated joy.
At the end of the day it comes down to community and friendship . The interconnectedness of human beings is an antidote to stress, in part, because it gives us a way to tell our stories. Sharing our personal narratives gives meaning to them, it makes them real. We create our reality through shared living, one conversation at a time.
I am grateful to people who make me happy I am committed to having good friends who can laugh and dance around the pains of living, creating positive community and vibrant living.
So, thanks Marie and Lily and to all my friends at the in-between ages for dancing your hearts out, chatting up your friends and devoting a night to positive community building. Imagine how great our world would be if we devoted as much time to connecting positively as we do to spreading negativity.
Dancing with Marie reminded me that no matter how wobbly one may feel or how wobbly life may get, being held up by a friend who is willing to dance with you through the hard times is a gift.
Make someone's soul blossom - give the gift of friendship.