In my 69 years I had never seen the Nutcracker Suite…never experienced the ballet….never heard Tchaikovsky’s entire score…that is…until yesterday.


As I sat captivated by the music…by the dancing and the fact there were no words to any song…I had to wonder to myself…what in heaven’s name has taken me so long!


I watched the performance mesmerized…thanking the Gods for creating people who can move in such a delicately beautiful way…while at the same time thanking whatever person or persons created the ballet.


As the music thundered through the air and the dancers floated off the floor…I was hit by the realization…this is what our bodies were created for.


Our legs were made strong yet elegant allowing us to leap up to the sky…our arms were created to be as graceful as wings making it appear that we can fly.


When the Gods created us non-dancers…they left not one part up to chance…our ears were created to hear the music…our eyes to enjoy the dance.


As I watched the arabesques…the pirouettes…the magic happening on the floor…I thought how our mouths were meant to stay closed more often…so our eyes can see and our ears can listen…perhaps a little more.


Which also made me wonder with our eyes closed…our eyes and ears open to the beauty on display…is it possible to hate at all…while attending the ballet.


Perhaps the Gods were subtly trying to tell us…conceivably…perchance

the solution to some of life’s problems…can be found within the dance.


Perhaps that’s why these dancers were created to be so nimble…

so graceful on their feet….

To simply remind us there is beauty and love in the world…

as and to make the Nutcracker sweet.

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As we dance the dance of life…as with each new day all the world’s dancers are convening…have you ever wondered what it is…that gives our dance its meaning?


I’ve had the good fortune to dance in many places and although I’ve never been to France…I’m pretty sure the meaning of the dance isn’t found in where I dance.


I’ve danced at different times…different days…different years…and although that does…the dance…enhance it…I’m pretty sure the meaning of the dance isn’t found in when I dance it.


I’ve danced many different kinds of dances…some planned…some merely danced by chance…and I’m pretty sure the meaning of the dance isn’t found in how I dance.


So what is it then?  What gives our dances their meaning as we dance different dances…in different places…through different years….

When we look around at our friends and family…he answer is quite clear…


Yes, finding the meaning of our dance of life need not be shrouded in mystery or myth…

for I believe the meaning of the dance 

can be found 

in who we’re dancing with.



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One of the things I love about memories…besides the wonderful feelings they can bring…is their ability to attach themselves to a myriad of things.


Yesterday I heard MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’ on the radio…which my mind was quick to salute…while promptly moving past MC Hammer and his pants made of parachute.


There’s something about that song…when you hear it…even if by chance…that makes you at least want to move your feet…and at most…get up and dance.


When my memory heard that song…in an instant it transported me…back to a time when our two oldest grandchildren were staying with us in NC.


The four of us were sitting on the deck of our cabin when that song came on the air…and immediately we started dancing…how we looked…we didn’t care.


For what could be better than dancing to ‘You Can’t Touch This’ by MC…

with our grandchildren on the deck of our cabin in NC?.


Then Damien and Taylor got it in their heads…I suppose that’s the power of what music can do…to see if they could dance around the cabin before the song was through.


They looked to us for approval…wondering if we would worry…when Deborah turned up the volume on the radio and said…”If you’re going to make it…you better hurry.”


And here is what’s etched into my memory…of that truly memorable day…the butts of our two oldest grandchildren as they happily danced away.


And of Deborah and I watching them…running…dancing…laughing as children are apt to do…with smiles on our faces a they made it back before the song was through.


So as two super dope grandparents from Florida…

yes, we are often known as such…

we’d like to thank MC Hammer and his music 

for giving us a memory in NC we will never forget…

a memory…it’s safe to say…you can’t touch.

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It’s easy to forget we are but one part of this Earth…forget all the ties that bind us

no matter how often…how every day…the Earth tries so hard to remind us.


The food we eat, the air we breathe…comes from the Earth that surrounds us

Not to mention the magnificence…the wonder and the beauty

that she’s created all around us.


If you happen to be near the ocean at sunrise

you’re treated to a sight that’s difficult to put into words

It is beautiful, rhythmic…and acrobatic…we call it the dancing of the birds.


You see birds standing on the shoreline…you marvel at the amount

hundreds…maybe thousands…far too many for you to count.


Then together, as if on cue, in the glow of the morning’s first light

every bird that was, a moment ago, standing…collectively takes flight.


They fly in this wonderful formation

you find yourself mesmerized…in kind of a trance

for it is here you realize they’re not flying

but you’re witnessing them dance.


I happened to be out on the water as the birds danced right in front of me.

Gracefully they flew up, down and all around…

at times their wings were almost touching the sea.


As the birds all danced around me…as this way and that way I glanced…

I felt blessed at least for that moment…to have been invited to the dance…


And blessed to again be reminded

as into my kayak floated an errant feather

how we are all part of this wonderful Earth

and how we are all meant to dance here together.

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She finds a quiet beauty walking in the shadows of the moon

as she listens to the crickets with the possums and raccoons.


She greets an occasional rabbit as she wonders what the day will bring

and she listens for that first bird who calls the other birds to sing.


When the air is still she notices the shadows are rigid in their stance

but when the wind is present…they begin to sway…then they begin to dance.


As she watches the shadows dancing to their early morning song

She remembers a time when she was younger…when she used to dance along.


So as the shadows begin to boogie with the birds now singing to enhance

for a moment she is young again…and she joins them in the dance……


And she smiles as she remembers how shadows don’t seem to care

If she moves like an old lady…or dances like Fred Astaire.


So they dance together…the shadows and her

both haphazard…undisciplined 

She….guided by her memories

the shadows…guided by the wind.


And when the dance is over

the shadows bow to her with dignity and grace…

and she walks away to begin her day

with a smile on my face. 

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The older couple captured everyone’s attention

the moment they all walked in the door…

but she’s the only one who did not laugh

as they danced across the floor


“They are not the greatest dancers are they?” her friend snickered…

“As far as dancing goes….

she keeps tripping on his feet

while he keeps stepping on her toes.”


“I’m not watching their feet.” she said

“No…what I find totally entrancing…

is the beauty on the faces


when I see their two hearts dancing.”

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They grew up dancing at a time when people danced arm in arm

when dancing had a mystique

when people held hands, twirled together

and loved dancing cheek to cheek.


They met each other on the dance floor.

He remembers she was had on a polka dot dress and a pair of white gloves

It was during their first dance together…when they both fell in love.


They married, had children, grand and great

and lived a life of happiness and romance…

Their family fondly remembers…how they always loved to dance..


They remember seeing the love on their faces

How they danced till the last note of the music was done…

And they marveled at how two people …could move together as one.


When they danced it was as if no one else was on the floor…

And they continued to dance together…until she could dance no more.


When she was gone his family was concerned…

for not only was he alone…

But often they would find him…dancing on his own.


Until he assured them he was happy…that he was not dancing on his own

that as long as he was dancing…he would never be alone.


And when he danced it was as if no one else was on the floor

And he continued to dance this way until the day he could dance no more.


When he was gone there were a few tears 

but on the faces mostly smiles shown…

For everyone knew they were reunited 


and he’d never again dance on his own.

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They came to entertain us…high school students from St. Augustine

They came to dance…and I have to say their dancing was anything but routine.


And they were beautiful, these students, they came in all shapes and kinds

most of them were deaf…and a few of them were blind.


I saw the joy upon their face…never once did I see fear

as they danced…and performed together…to music they could not hear.


I love to experience moments when my consciousness expands

like watching students who couldn’t hear…dance…while singing with their hands.


I love Spanish, French and Italian…romance languages not to be missed

but I wonder…is it possible to add sign language to that list.


Spanish, French and Italian are pleasing to the ears…which comes as no surprise 

but signing is the only language that’s pleasing to the eyes.


There was a point in their performance when one of the students just by chance

put his two hands out in front of me and invited me to dance…


I could hear the music playing…I even knew the song

so I threw off my inhibitions and happily went along.


I forgot, however, I have no rhythm…the best I can do is prance

but the young deaf boy was patient and he showed me how to dance.


And though he didn’t improve my rhythm…he got me dancing to the beat

and I discovered the joy of music wasn’t in my ears or the joy of dancing in my feet.


As I tried to follow his movements…as I tried desperately to keep pace

I found the joy in me that moment could be found upon my face….


We all enter this world with certain limitations as well as certain gifts

And as I sat back down in my chair it made me wonder if…


The purest joy of life…as these students so easily express


Is to never take for granted the wonders we possess.

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The music began to play and as the dancers began to stir

the eyes of the the crowd settled on the them…

but I was watching her.


She had been playing with her stuffed unicorn…which she dropped…to my surprise

when she saw the young ones dancing…and then she stood there…mesmerized.


She slowly toddled up to them…and I watched as the seeds of dance were sown.

Proving, once again, dance and the music that inspires it has a language all it’s own.


Then slowly, ever so slowly, she began swaying to the beat

Perhaps in that one moment…she was dreaming with her feet.


Perhaps she did more than wonder as she watched the dancers spin and reach their hands up to the sky…

Perhaps in that moment she understood…

she didn’t need wings to fly.


Then she danced the way we all should dance…

with no inhibitions…just having fun

And I thought, if there is a shortcut to happiness…

dancing must be one.


I watched her smile as she danced and spun…

with no more thoughts of unicorn…

And I felt blessed to be there to witness…

A tiny dancer being born.