This week I got in touch in a very real way with my childhood self. Not the anxiety-ridden, keep-your-head-down child but the happy one who believed in magic.
I recover that child-part of me sometimes in everyday life and often in dance class. Dance is magic and can bring me tangibly in touch with the innocence of childhood. In day-to-day life, I can still find myself worrying about this or that. I can fabricate out of thin air things I think I should be worrying about, if I were a responsible adult person. It is often ephemeral and difficult to hold onto feeling like the little one who believes in magic—who has faith that if she really believes it, she could fly.
This week, I have felt like a joyful kid every day and I want to share why.
I wrote an essay about dance that was published by The New York Times in response to their questions, “What inspired you to dance?” and “Who was your first ‘dance crush’?” **
I wrote about how when I was 6, I saw Mary Martin’s Peter Pan on television. I fell in love with Sondra Lee as Tiger Lily. *** I LOVED her and I wanted to BE her. Also, I wrote about how the only time I ever saw my parents happy together was when they were dancing.
On Monday at the studio, I received a note. It was a thank you note from Sondra Lee! I was (literally) jumping up and down, tears in my eyes. I was a giddy 6 year-old in a pink tutu! It brought me right back to that moment when I saw Sondra as Tiger Lily, on that little black and white TV in our den in 1963.
And I mean, right back. I feel like a happy child whose idol has reached out specially to hug her. I am over the moon.
I was so lucky to have this experience. It makes me realize that the happy child has always been right here inside of me. And so is yours. Inside you resides the joy and wonder of childhood. I once believed that I could dance for a living only in my wildest dreams. Happily, I learned that I could actually live my dreams and fly.
The bad stuff can be outshone when we pay attention to only the light. If we can forget about gravity (whatever pulls us down), we can sail upwards.
Inspiration is timeless. Joy is ageless.
We can all “fly” if we only believe it enough.
Thank you, Sondra Lee!!!
**The New York Times link:
***Sondra Lee as Tiger Lily: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_UV1CA5FUU