I love how words can flow onto a page, like swift-moving boots on a gymnasium floor. I love how places, music, beats and scents stir up and awaken moments of before. I love being alive to the fact that we only get one chance at this one great dance – to strut our stuff, to shine, to share as we move forward and flow backwards and shuffle side-to-side. One dance to sweep someone off their feet, or to be swept… To lead, or to follow… To live, and to dance.
Step clap, step clapclap. Step clap, step clapclap.
Forward and backward, the 18-passenger van moved. Rain was pouring down and down, as the tires seeped deeper and deeper into the mud. Two of his sons and I tried to direct him and problem solve as the van and trailer unsuccessfully maneuvered out of the wrong direction. The small hill, holes and curve of the dirt, now mud, road were no help, nor was the sun that no longer shone. Dark, rainy and cold. Though he had missed the stop, and the large load went several feet in the wrong direction (with no easily-accessible turnaround in sight), his frustrated tone remained pleasant. We were all well-soaked and mudded by the time our wise ol’ neighbor pulled up in his pickup truck, ready to pull our guests back onto the right path. At the end of it all, as we apologized, our guests seemed grateful – knowing that this was expected in our occupation. Ministry. Service. Rain. Mud. Crickets.
Slide to the left, Slide to the right. Criss cross, Criss cross.
Community, criss-cross, friends criss-cross, memories. The movement of our souls: dance fights, dancing in the rain, dancing to the music, break(dance)ing in the new floors, dancing as we cleaned, dancing as we did the dishes, dancing through the days. Oh how our souls were moved by each other, and towards one another. Criss-cross my heart, I’ll never forget how we danced, and how you moved me.
Now I gotta cut loose! Footloose! Kick off the Sunday shoes.
Kevin Bacon. Warehouse. I believe I can fly, fly, fly, fly, fly, fly.
Wobble baby, wobble baby, wobble baby, wobble.
I wanna learn the wobble!
Luckily, I don’t remember…
Back room dance break. Teaching the wobble. You’ve got this. Laughter ensues.
Back it up, big girl, back it up. On repeat.
Grapevines right and left, smoothly flowing. Running forward, hitch, turn and back.
This moment, is where I want to be. Here. Now. Breathing. Moving swiftly and smoothly. Learning new steps surrounded by those who dance this through their dreams. Right, left, forward, turn and back, and again and again. I wish I could stay in this dance forever. Moving, loving, learning, growing, trusting, flowing… This Kentucky life, this Kentucky dance.
Darkness. Drip drop, dripdrop, dripdropdripdropdripdrop. Bright, bright lights in the rearview. Tires shutter trying to get a grip along the rain-soaked and leaf-coated road. I pray. I’m going too fast, but the bright lights behind me are too close, and too bright. I breathe. I hear a calming whisper to let go. I release my foot from the break, steady the car and survive the S-curve.
The phone rings. One of those phone calls you know is coming, but you don’t want to answer. I sink down to the ground as I hear the words, “It’s time… Not much longer.” I hang up, hug my knees to my chest and allow the tears to flow. I can’t hold them in. Drip drop, dripdrop. Breathe. I’m enveloped in a hug, embraced. Breathe. It’s going to be okay, yes it is, yes it will be.
The open freeway moves along, heading down south to the land of the pines… Hey, hey-ey, momma rock me.
Ode to the roadtrips, the weddings we traveled to. We celebrated each other. We danced and shouted Jackson County, Kentucky at the top of our lungs every opportunity we were given. We listened, we learned, we journeyed. We didn’t always know where we were going, but we knew the value of the journey. The now, was all that mattered, and we lived it up to its fullest.
And we will continue to do so. We will continue to dance on this road, wherever it takes us.