the christmas dance...a true story

At Christmastime she plays reggae music instead of Christmas carols…

When you ask her why she just smiles and gets that
faraway look in her eye….
She starts to sway… a little unfurling of what’s always
going on inside her.
She usually keeps it hidden from view, but there are times when it simmers
and there are times when it boils and spills over.

If she’s not careful, it will be oozing all over the floor.
This kind of thing had tripped her kundalini trigger
before she even knew
she had one…but that is a whole other story…

This Christmas tale begins in the big city.
Our girl is making her way half heartedly through
the crowds of harried holiday shoppers.
She frankly wondered what all the fuss was about.
To be sure, it was fun searching for just the right gift
for her friends, but did it really have to be this crazed?
Everyone around her was frantic at this late hour on Christmas Eve.

She often wondered why her version of the Christmas Spirit was so out of sync
with everyone else’s.
The tinny music, the crass commercialism with all its tacky bric a brac
and the suffocating phoniness was all becoming too much for her.
She needed some air…

She maneuvered herself to the nearest store exit,
gave a final squeeze past last minute shoppers and landed on the street,
more or less intact.
She gathered herself up and headed for the nearest quiet street.

She needed to shake off some of that weird santa stuff…..

She caught a glimpse of color and movement out of the corner of her eye…
Something that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the scene. Hmmph!
Now, that’s a curious sight! What’s HE doing here?!
There was this strangely out of place black man dressed in voluminous brightly colored patchwork pants further mismatched by a baggy purple sweater.
He was tall, rangy, angular and yet somehow loose and easy in his skin.
His hair was done up in huge dreadlocks topped by an enormous floppy knit hat of many colors.

He was standing on the sidewalk…
Well... not exactly standing….he was dancing…
and in the most lighthearted way...right in the middle of the holiday fray.
At first she thought he was some deranged person,
but that didn’t seem quite right.
She watched, spellbound.
Nope, she decided…not deranged. Possibly drunk, though.
Well, upon further reflection…maybe not drunk.
He had to be ‘high’ on ganja or something.
That was it, for sure.

She gave herself a little shake and reminded herself there was
more shopping to finish.
She headed off to the next shop on her list, hoping she could find the rest of her presents and be done with it all.
She meandered through the aisles of the shop,
half forgetful of her tasks.
The image of the dancer lingered in her mind...
Though no one else had seemed to pay the slightest
attention to him,
watching him had given her a kind of quirky lift.

He was so…so….free…and joyful!

He was not hooked in at all to all the holiday claptrap and nonsense.
Though she always prided herself on not being part of that culture,
she could see that she still had a foot stuck in that world...
Maybe that foot would be better off dancing, she mused….

She paid for her things, feeling just a little guilty but not quite sure why….
Maybe she would keep an eye out for him as she made her rounds and drop some money in his basket…
She pressed on, ticking things and people off her list.
She thought she saw him once more but the throngs obscured her vision
and she mentally shelved the idea for later.

Suddenly she realized how hungry and cold she was.
She remembered a cozy little place around the next corner.
She was in the mood for a bowl of homemade soup and a nice hot cup of tea.
Once inside, she made her way to a table by the window.
She would just people watch for awhile, warm her toes and sip tea.
Once settled, she looked up and, to her surprise, there he was again!!
Despite the wind and the cold, he was still dancing happily
all by himself on the street corner.
The crowds had thinned considerably by now and she
had an unobstructed view.
He was sooo much fun to watch, all loose and jangly,
bouncing to some reggae beat with the most joyous abandon.
She felt like she had a ringside seat to the best show in town.

She wondered if he was a Panhandler.
Or maybe… he was entertaining the crowds to make a little extra money.
But no one stopped to offer him any money.
They just walked wide circles around him pretending he wasn’t even there.
There was something about his happiness that was just contagious!
How could they not notice that!?
She squirmed in the booth, itching to boogie a little herself.
How long had it been?
Way too long…again.

The waitress brought her food, and she warmed herself with it, but in truth she was so taken with the dancing reggae man that she barely tasted her food.
He was just the most JUBILANT human being she’d ever laid eyes on…
She looked at her watch…he had been dancing for hours!
Imagine having nothing else to do than dance all day long?
She envied him.
As she gazed out the window she noticed another curious thing.
He didn’t have a tip basket. Well, THAT didn’t compute!
Why else would he be out there for hours on end dancing?

Then she realized he didn’t have a boom box or any other visible
source of music.
So WHAT was he dancing to?!
How does one dance without music?!

Then, in a sudden flash of insight, she understood!
He was indeed dancing to the music!
But the music was all on the inside of him…
and the joy it evoked was just spilling over,
flooding the world with joy unspeakable…

What COULD he do but dance?!
He bounced along doing his magical rasta shuffle with his head thrown back in joy, gazing heavenward.
He seemed to be almost in a trance.
It moved her in such a deep and mysterious way…

She watched, mesmerized, vowing to herself
that she would go straight home, throw down all her packages,
kick off her boots and dance like mad till she dropped in happy ecstasy herself.

She recognized that true spirit of Christmas that she herself
had felt before...and almost lost!

When it was finally time to go, she left the little café
and lingered on the sidewalk for one last moment
to watch him dance.
She needed to imprint this memory forever...

As she stood watching him, suddenly the rasta man’s head
gave a jerk and he lowered his gaze... and fixed her in his sights.
His gaze went right through her…like an arrow to her soul.
She was riveted to the spot.
And then He laughed heartily and he called out to her,
pointing his long arm with his long finger at her right in front of Everybody!

‘Sister!
Sistah!!!
You remember!!
You remember...’

She gave a little whoop! And she started to dance…
the Christmas dance…

And she never stopped again…