Monday, August 19, 2013

An Invitation to Dance in the Dirt

Back in December, I was dreaming off and on of how to get the most out of life in regards to friendships and happiness and giving and all those good things that on bad days can feel few and far between. It began as inspiration from a book club turned dance party in the kitchen of our hostess. Watching my fellow book lovers, many in later years than mine, dancing to the Black Eyed Peas with abandon, reminded me that there is still much to be lived. It's interesting to me that there are people like me that just don't dance enough. Most of the people that have danced around me in the past few years have been children and grandmothers. This night was no exception.

This week, I took part in a First Nation's Drum circle. I've never experienced one before and it was again, a chance to dance, with abandon. It was reminiscent of being in Africa with grandmothers and children dancing joyfully, singing, eyes closed, hands raised, voices loud and confident. Again, I moved at a minimum, half hidden by a tree, very cognizant of those around me and what I looked like as a white woman awkwardly half dancing.

I am realizing that it's time to dance. I have been dreaming about the potential of this type of invitation to many of you for a very long time. This is an invitation to do the things we've spoken of as you've let me share my stories from Africa. The times you said:

"I wish I could do that...but I'm too afraid. (broke, depressed, busy, tied down...)"
"I've always wanted to do that but..."
"I don't know how you do that. It must be so hard."
"I just wouldn't be good at that, I'd cry all the time."
"I don't have anything to offer them."
"I could do that except for the food. (the toilets, the dirt, the sickness, the heartache, the distance)"
"One day I'll do that. When I'm older (richer, less tied down, the kids are in college, house is paid off.)"

This is your invitation. You. Don't make me name names. Because I will. And you know that I know that you know that it's you. Don't you?

So, think about this. 2014 is your year to walk in the dirt, to dance with grandmothers and to sing with children. I'm going to Zambia and I'm taking you with me. It's time. It's time for others to see first hand those that are serving the poorest and most vulnerable in their communities. It's time to set foot in the pathways and alleys that I've told you about. To hear first hand the stories of love and sacrifice, desperation and reconciliation that come out of the sketchiest shanties and least likely places.

You're in. You may not know it yet. I have a list in my heart of those of you who are. I think you know it too. So...please, come with me. It's time. I am not sure what it is that has made you wait but I think we can just put it on the calendar and figure it all out.

Details to come.

Say yes. We'll dance in the dirt. It's worth the price of admission right there.

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