Yesterday they laced on their ballet shoes. Both knew the sorrow of minor key dance, the music of fatigue composed in a lifetime of depression, stigma, and shame. And both decided to dance again anyway. Our ballet shoes were hiking boots and the trail ahead rated strenuous. Two miles up felt impossible. I groaned that I had forgotten the music, the dance steps, the passion of goodness on the trail beneath my feet. We went anyway.
As boulders drew us off the path, we began to explore textures, design, autumn Maple and Oak. At our own pace we moved upward. We stopped. We twirled. And once, we froze. Something, beyond our ability to see, gave us pause and we listened hard. Then she said, “It’s a breeze. It’s like a gentle monster through the trees.” The breeze began thousands of feet below and made its way toward us. To her, like a gentle monster. To me, an arpeggio.
This was kindness. To get away for 3 hours in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, seemed non-sensical, but the attraction, like a theatrical production somewhere inside us, made a definitive case for an afternoon of dance. For three hours, kindness removed us from the critic’s circles, and called us to dance to the summit.
Rugged chords of trail etched the cliff, some treble and some bass. Oh how the picture of life became clear. The depths of sorrow and pain, like jagged rocks at my feet, paled before the bigger picture.
So focused on the rocks, we sometimes miss it. To see the spectacular expanse beyond the pain, we have to stop, grasp hold of something firm for balance, and look. The path remains, difficult and dangerous, but it was expertly crafted into a part of the greater symphony. And we dance, again.
At the top, we held our arms out wide, eyes closed, lost in an eternal moment of beauty.