Hard times require furious dancing. Each of us is proof. – Alice Walker

Dancing Against the Dark DAys

© 2011 Uzair Nazeer, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Actually, I think a lot of times require furious dancing – happy times, sad times, boring times – but I’m with Walker – when times get brutal, we have to wiggle, shimmy, spin our way to beauty again.

Right now, I’m seeing a lot of hard out there. . . a friend has lost a friend to cancer, a friend is worried about enough money from work, a friend is depressed and finding herself bitter in that depression, a friend is anxious, a friend is overwhelmed with the care of her young, ill daughter.

But then, in the midst, other friends are dancing – the joy of their lives together finally filling out here in the second decade of their marriage. They are my reminder that there is flourishing and preparing in the hard times.


December may be the darkest month, and January the longest . . . but this year, February is barbaric in its darkness, at least here on the farm.  Philip and I are both feeling it – the days not yet long enough, the temperatures still far too cold, the waiting going long on the short days.

Sometimes, we have to burst through that darkness with a little light. Philip calls them TDPs, “tiny dance parties,” and while his dances often involve a simple wiggle, I on occasion just let loose – the lessons in shaking as freedom from Laraine Herring – coming live to all my muscles as I flail all that hardness back just a bit.

I also beat back that darkness with words – etching them with the tip of my pen pressed hard against journal pages, speaking them soft into the air when I’m here alone, pounding them like taps into the keys.  Writing – always my way through.


Today is a holiday here. Philip is off, and I’m going to carve the hours of work into later days.  Today, today is a day for dancing, hard and long. . . it may look like a flail. It may be salvation.



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