|Gold and green on the trail|
After I wrote in here last Sunday, I had a rather interesting day. You might remember that I decided to go barefoot dancing again to the "sweat your prayers" gathering in a big ballroom for an hour and a half. Last time I went I couldn't manage the entire thing, but last Sunday I stayed for it all. I am by far the oldest person there, but I can move with the best of them. I wore a loose blouse and my normal stretchy pants, so I could move unencumbered by clothing. I admired some of the lovely flowing skirts and dresses and think I might just have to spend some time at the thrift store looking for something suitable for me. I sure had fun.
When I first walked into the room and removed my shoes, parking them and my glasses in a safe place, I noticed that maybe a dozen people had already arrived and were lying prone in the middle of the dance floor, stretching and moving slowly to the New Age-type music with little to no beat, just soft relaxing music. As I stood there wondering if I should be doing that, too, most people had already gotten up off the floor and started to move. Whew! I joined them, only a little intimidated by the sheer numbers of us. Little by little the tempo increased, and by the time I'd been dancing with the others for awhile, I was rather amazed at how we rarely touched each other by mistake. Some danced together for a brief moment, and some danced with me, too.
By the time another half-hour had passed, we were all dancing exuberantly alone or with one another. It truly felt as though we had entered an altered state. With the strong beat of the music and the uninhibited movements, I felt myself lifted and totally absorbed in the moment. This went on for awhile, until there was a barely noticeable change in the music; a quiet center began to emerge. We gradually slowed our dancing as the beat gently changed to a progressive swaying, and before long we were all standing or sitting on the floor, as the moderator (with a mic) suggested we breathe more slowly and send our breath out into the universe. She sent us off on our separate ways with a final prayer. It was really a lovely time, and I'll be back. There were at least sixty people in the room from all walks of life, and I was glad to be one of them.
As I walked out into the sunshine, I realized that I had gotten quite a LOT of exercise, and my legs and knees felt rather, well, used. Nothing bad, but I needed to find my car and drive off to the movie theater, where I was to meet my friend Judy. We watched The Martian, which I just loved and wrote about on my other blog here. In fact, several of my commenters also told me they loved the book the movie was based on, so I ordered it on my Kindle last week and just finished reading it yesterday. The movie changed some of the particulars, as they usually do, but basically it followed the story closely. Matt Damon brought the character of Mark Watney totally to life, and I don't know which one I preferred, the book or the movie, since they are both quite good.
Today Judy and I will go to an early showing of the new Tom Hanks movie, Bridge of Spies, so I'll miss the dancing today. But I will be going regularly to "sweat my prayers." Not only is it good exercise, but a different sort than I usually get either hiking or in my aerobics class. I learned about it while on my quest to find a yoga class (and I'm still looking for the right one), and I now have a very fun thing to look forward to on Sundays. It was the only day of the week when I didn't have some way to get some exercise, other than hopping on the treadmill at the gym (boring!) or going for a walk outside. I like the feeling I get after the uninhibited dancing, reveling in my ability to frolic and cavort and lose myself in the moment.
And in just a few short weeks I'll be traveling to Florida to visit my sister Norma Jean. I haven't seen her in almost two years now, since February 2014. Where did the time go? We still talk on video chat every two weeks, but it's just not the same as being with her. I'll hopefully get a chance to swim with her in the mornings, and have a chance to see my two grand-nieces Lexie and Alicia. Allison, Norma Jean's daughter, now lives nearby, after having been transferred from the Pentagon to the military base in Tampa. And Allison has been promoted to the rank of a full Colonel in the Army! Now there is a full life: raising two children alone with a military career like that. I'm looking forward to seeing them all. Norma Jean's son Peter lives with her, too, so it won't be the same as the last time I visited, with her family figuring prominently in her life these days. It will be a lot of family time, and you know I'll take lots of pictures and tell you all about it.
Until then, I'll be spending my time hiking and walking and dancing and just generally enjoying life here in the middle of autumn in the Pacific Northwest. The dog days of summer are far behind us, and the dark days of winter are ahead. Just about the time I get used to one season, the next one comes rolling around. I am so glad that I don't suffer from the long nights like some people do. Several of my friends head off to warmer and sunnier climes for the winter. I'll keep the home fires burning while they're gone.
And just like that, another post has been written and is almost ready to post. It's still dark outside here, as the sun won't come up for almost another hour, and as usual my tea is gone and my partner still sleeps beside me. I love this very special time of the day on Sundays, and the time I spend thinking about what's going on in my life right now. I do hope that wherever you are this fine mid-October day, it will be one you will remember with love and joy in your heart. Be well until we meet again next week.