Monday, April 26, 2010

Discover the Rhythm

Rhythms of life, those we acknowledge, those we are surprised to find and those we have yet to develop or to discover.

I sat on the bench overlooking the lovely lake waiting for a past student and his daughter to arrive. Hot Starbucks coffee on an overcast morning, listening to the ducks and watching the smooth water ripple in their wake is about as good as it gets. Suddenly I was aware that I was swinging my leg over the side of the bench. In fact, the more I tried to ignore my leg, the more it would swing. Revisiting my childhood was a natural as breathing. I was a kid again enjoying something I’d always taken for granted.

Perhaps passersby looked at this 62 year old woman wondering if she had a few screws loose. In return, I looked back smiling like a five year old. Years melted away as I recognized something I had done probably every day as a child. What else had I overlooked?

Its a mothering thing we do as we rock back and forth holding a child. Soothing to the child and parent. A form of connecting, of healing, of comforting. There I stood in the entry section of Borders looking at the sale books. A young mother was cooing to her crying daughter lying in the stroller. Before I knew it, I was rocking. Back and forth went the stroller, back and forth went me in a rhythm that surfaced at the mother’s task. Again, another rhythm.

This new awareness has awakened the observer in me. What other rhythms have I missed? Why do these rhythms exist? I began to analyze other automatic responses, i.e., draping my arm around a child in church, tapping my foot to music, bouncing my head back and forth as the girls chant a jump rope rhyme. Rhythms, those movements that seem to display happiness, freedom, maybe even youth.

Watch your grandchild and be in awe. Their rhythms are so numerous you can’t keep up with them. Energy, imagination, inhibition surface and laughter usually follows. Why do we lose that impulsiveness of youth? “

When will you ever grow up?” my child asks. Well, obviously I’m not in a hurry to lose the rhythms that have accompanied me these many years. I hope I never do.

Next time you sit with your legs free, swing them. Enjoy the air and freedom, the rhythm, and for a moment, the youth. My guess? You’ll like it.

1 comment:

  1. I have found myself doing the same thing ... rocking in a unconscious response to an unknown baby's crying.

    How beautiful that you just allowed your legs to continue to swing as you sat on that bench being a part of all around you. I wonder just when we start to become embarrassed and lose our childhood ability to allow our bodies to rock and swing with the natural rhythms in our hearts?

    Such a lovely post.