My friend Eleanor told me about a local “Dancing With The Stars” competition three weeks ago. It was to be held in a historic railway station in St. Thomas, Ontario, built in the 1870’s to the tune of 354 feet long and 36 feet wide. It was fascinating to hear that the seven couples had no ballroom experience but were getting two months of instruction from a skilled teacher.
And then I forgot about the whole thing.
A week ago, I saw Eleanor again and discovered that the show was sold out. “Strike while the iron is hot” – so said someone from my deep dark past. No striking from this guy.
For the past few days, I’ve had three folks trying to score me a ticket for last night’s performance. I phoned the first two and they weren’t successful in their quest. “Oh well, I don’t need any particular life experience to be happy,” chirped my little Buddhist soul. But I sure wanted to go!
Thursday evening, just before the big hockey game on TV, here comes a phone call. Eleanor’s sister-in-law was to go with a friend, but that person’s husband was ill, so she had to cancel. “Do you know anyone who needs a ticket, Eleanor?” “Well, I do know this guy named Bruce.”
And so I got to go, plus I got to sit in the second row, perfect for checking out flying feet. Thank you, universe, for aligning the CASO Station and me.
Here are my personal highlights:
1. I sat next to Lora and we laughed all night, ending up with a marriage ceremony planned for next Tuesday at 2:00.
2. I talked to Bonnie, an old friend from the Port Stanley Community Choir. I got to renew my zest for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. Maybe I’ll have a future back there.
3. I watched one of the couples swirl across the dance floor with great love in their eyes. Their bodies moved beautifully but it was the eyes that held me. Afterwards, I told them how vividly their love shone.
4. With another couple, the woman’s face was so darn alive. I didn’t think skin could do all that. I told her later about the joy I saw.
5. Another pair were the driving force behind the St. Thomas Performing Arts Series – many years of concerts in a sublime circular sanctuary. At the end, I thanked him for bringing the Barra MacNeils and many other artists to a small city.
6. The last dancers included a woman I know well. She was Jody’s nurse practitioner as my dear wife fell towards death. I hadn’t seen her since Jodiette went to the hospital for the last few days of her life. On a break, I walked up to Laura. We smiled, we hugged, and I thanked her for taking such good care of Jody.
Eleanor was the coach for one of the dancing pairs and they won the People’s Choice Award. She bounced up and down and presented us all with a huge smile. In the audience, I was smiling pretty widely too. Lots to be happy about.