Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I have had a delightful two days. Monday I had lunch with a group of poets. Today I had dinner with other friends and tonight I tagged along with my friend, Ellen, to watch the dancing at John Campbell Folk School. Ellen was immediately swept into the circle of dancers and lost to my sight. The live music from the stage rang out through the large room as the caller's voice brought back to me memories of my youth. Do-si-do, allemande left, swing your partner - watching the gathering of men, women, young people and old, I was transported back to Major's barn, on our farm down in south Georgia when I was a teen. In our rural community one summer, my older brother and his wife offered to host square dancing every Saturday night in the loft of Major's barn. Girls arrived alone or with a date, and climbed the ladder that scaled the concrete wall to the large open door. Our modesty was at stake because it was impossible to climb twenty feet up a ladder in a skirt without showing your underwear to anyone on the ground. We commanded the boys to stand away while we climbed, but I'm sure they got a peek or two. Our music came from forty-fives on a record player. My brother called the dances and we twirled and shuffled and swung our partners, and loved every minute, just as the dancers I watched tonight at the folk school. Sweat rolled off our foreheads, down our sides, and our feet hurt after three hours, but we never wanted the night to end. I almost missed this evening of fun but Ellen insisted I go with her, and I am so happy I did. Although I didn't get on the dance floor, I was energized by those who did dance and by the toe-tapping music from the fiddles, guitars and other instruments. You couldn't have wiped the smile off my face if you had tried.