Thursday, May 26, 2011
Dancing in the Streets
She was on the sidewalk catercorner from me as I waited at the five lane stoplight, waiting to turn left. It's not unusual to see these kids on street corners, holding signs for various businesses, but she didn't fit the mold.
She wasn't wearing a drab and wilted Statue of Liberty costume and waving a sign offering help with taxes. She wasn't listlessly push-pulling a tall pole covered with bright signs inviting everyone to come to this open house or that blow-out car sale. She wasn't staring at the ground and flapping her sign as though it were stuck to her hand and she was trying to get it off.
This girl was dancing.
At first I reacted as I almost always do: with pity, and wondering about the circumstances that would bring someone to need money so badly they're willing to stand that exposed, and to do whatever is necessary to draw attention to themselves and the business they're representing.
My pity quickly turned to intrigued curiosity.
She seemed to be completely absorbed in her dance, and radiated a fierce clean energy. Petite, pale skin, dark unkempt hair. Clothes looking like they'd been picked blindly from the floor and thrown on without thought. Even with a knee brace (How, for someone that young?), she moved fluidly to a choreography clearly well-practiced. She dipped and bounced and spun and marched and pounded the air with her fist in perfect rhythm. She waved the sign (for pizza) as though it were an important prop, an integral part of the dance.
I found myself moving, just a little, to her rhythm, even without the beat of the music only she could hear.
This intersection is one of the busiest in our county. All too often, I find myself stuck at the light there. I'm usually taking deep conscious breaths well before green glows and traffic begins moving, especially if I'm at the back of a long line of cars. On this day, I was at the front, and wishing the red would stick. I didn't want to move away from her super-nova presence.
While I won't know the circumstances that brought my dancing girl to that street corner as a human billboard, I do trust in her ability to get herself eventually to the destination of her dreams. It's simply impossible, with that much dancing in her soul, for her to be stuck anywhere she doesn't choose to be.
Photo from Google Images