Pondering the Existence of Love in the Dance of Life.
Spontaneous adventures were Brittany’s favorite pastime, and I was regularly first in line to participate.
“The park here hosts a weekly event of dancing, and their focus tonight is swing,” she had told me as I pushed 85 on the highway.
The journey landed us before a pavilion shrouded in twinkling lights and crowded by a sea of people.
The jazz melody echoing through my ears enveloped me first, and the buzzing chatter of partners rhythmically moving their bodies followed soon after.
“Oh, Allie, it’s beautiful. Look!” Brittany exclaimed, as her fingers lifted ahead to the couples on the dance floor.
There was no shortage in the diversity surrounding us.
Children, elders, and young adults like me.
All genders, heights, and ethnicities.
Once their feet hit the ground, they weren’t separated by labels and words; they simply became a melting pot of the love that vibrated from them all.
Love had not always been easy for me, but watching children squeal as they tried to determine the movements of their feet, and beaming towards the youth spilling out of lovers who now triumphantly wore lines around the corners of their lips and ash-colored hair filled my cup to the brim with a serene kind of hope that begs you to believe that miracles can exist even in the darkest of times.
There was no ghost of boys whose touch was not so kind or disappointment from the hollow promises of a first date that couldn’t come to fruition.
There was only me, standing before lovers and friends and strangers as they shook the energy of joyous new beginnings throughout the air.
“Do you think love exists?” Brittany asked, as she turned her attention away from the mass and on to me.
I let the question linger, and remained silent as the weight of it wrapped around me and squeezed.
“I don’t think it’s so much a matter of love existing, more like can two people stay in love together, forever,” I finally responded.
She nodded, letting her eyes drift back to the dance floor. “I can agree to that. The odds of two people being deeply in love with each other at the same time just feels impossible. Seems like everyone falls for one person while they have eyes for someone else.”
I let a weary sigh escape from between my lips as I sarcastically grinned, “Story of my life.”
“I want to believe that it can exist though. I really do,” she added.
“I think that maybe that’s the first step in the right direction: choosing to believe that it can, even if you don’t always feel certain about that. I mean, it’s also the hardest when you’re scared to put your faith in the concept, but how can you experience love if you won’t allow the idea to exist, right?”
She locked eyes on me with raised brows before cracking a smile, “I hate it when you’re right, Allie.”
I snorted before stuffing my hands into the pockets of my jacket, “Always here to sprinkle a little truth in your life.”
While swept away in the exhilaration, I thought to myself that perhaps you don’t need extravagant showcases of passion to feel that gentle desire budding from your soul.
Maybe all it really takes is the effortless motions of tenderness to move a pessimistic heart too.
Swarmed by thoughts of bright futures, and embraced by the sound of laughter around me, I felt like I was being yanked by my wrists to step away from the edge of the cliff I had been tiptoeing towards with closed eyes. I could hear the faint drip, drop of my thawing heart with every second spent in the crowd’s rejoicing voices.
That kind of contentment is what I want to continue to chase as I mature from my childlike state of mind. Consumed by the scene, I found myself inspired to actively search for this blissful feeling, and to embody it, so those nearby could feel what was washing over me now: anticipation for all that is to come while partaking in this ever-changing dance of life.
Alexandria Hampton currently resides in the rural state of Tennessee, where she actively is on the hunt for inspiration and adventures. She has attended and completed courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature as well as self-published two works: ‘Devoted to October’ and ‘Metamorphosis’, her first book of poetry.