I just finished watching several back-to-back episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s always bittersweet: I love to watch the interpretation of rhythm with body, the exertion of such beautiful control, the making of every emotion into a physical expression. But at the same time I feel jealous and unfinished, like a put-together puzzle with just two or three small, missing pieces.
I have always, always wanted to dance. My mom took me to see The Nutcracker when I was 4, and I knew it then. All my friends (and any grown-ups who asked) knew I was going to be a singer, an actress and a dancer when I grew up. But I was a military brat, and travelling overseas meant there just weren’t opportunities. We finally returned to the States when I was a pre-teen, and moved again to Fort Meade when I was 14. I quickly discovered my high school offered dance, both as a PE elective and as an extra-curricular activity. Nothing could’ve stopped me! I finally got to do what I knew I was made to do. Years of pent-up wanting were released. I felt real and solid and free. I saw a picture of myself in the yearbook, leaping through the air with one leg straight ahead of me and one behind, my toes pointed. I looked like I was made to fly! Sure, there was teenage angst and confusion and all that garbage. But when I danced I was entirely myself and entirely confident.
Less than two years later we moved again. And a few months after that, I got pregnant. My life wasn’t mine anymore, and I had to grow up, let go of hopes and dreams, and be practical.
My oldest son will be 21 in a few weeks, and I still dream of dancing. While I watch those children perform miracles with their bodies, I am so filled with regret. Some would say, “Why not take a dance class?” But let’s be honest. I’ll never be able to move that way again. At least not here in this body on this earth. I’m sad about it.
Nonetheless, I was meant to dance. I know it. This being true, I can only conclude that I have to dance.
I read this book called “Rescued” years ago. It ended with a man who had gone to Heaven by the skin of his teeth. His role there was a gardener. The biggest thing I took away from that book was that we will still work in Heaven, but our work won’t be drudgery. It will be a fulfillment of the things we were created to do here on earth, and therefore work will be a joy. So I’m convinced that in Heaven, somehow I’ll be a singer, an actress and a dancer. I don’t know how, those things don’t seem practical for Heaven. (Well, a singer might be.) No matter, I just can’t imagine He created this natural pull in me, only to let it die with my body. (And really, it’s time for me to lose the notion of Heaven being all clouds and choirs and harps. How stupid.)
I’m going to dance in Heaven, unbound by bum knees and chubby legs. I’m looking forward to it with every fiber of this being He created in me.