. . . we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance. - Thomas Merton in New Seeds of Contemplation
The twins perched on the back of the couch banging on the window with a screw driver and wooden stick while I waited for the bus with the older kids. They were making “music.” Speaking through the double-paned glass I urged them to reign it in, lest they should soon be "breaking a window."
Later, after the bus had come and gone and I was walking the dog out to the back field, I heard a great metallic clatter coming from inside and assumed they’d moved on to banging on the radiators.
When I came inside, fresh and cold, they sat in the dining room surrounded by every pot and pan we own – their “instruments.”
Whacking and smacking against metal lids and up-turned pots, they produced a jarring percussion and the dog and I were both overwhelmed by the sheer volume. The thing they wanted most, though, was for me to dance while they played.
“Come dance,” they called, “come dance with us.”
What I wanted was quiet. I wanted the pots and pans put away and the "tent" that filled the living room picked up so I could vacuum without obstruction. I wanted to pay the bills, balance the checkbook and get a head start on the dishes.
But every artist needs an appreciative audience and every drum needs a foot to follow its beat, so I cast my "awful solemnity to the winds" and joined in.
In the wiggling and shaking, as the shy dog raised his front paws and became my cautious partner, I remembered this poem by Hafiz,
Every child has known God,
not the God of names,
not the God of don’t
not the God who ever does anything weird,
but the God who knows only four words
and keeps repeating them, saying,
“Come dance with me,
May you also hear the invitation friends to cast winter aside for a few moments this day - sing with the birds, bang your drum and dance with whatever willing participants creation sends your way.