I Should Dance

“I know nothing,

except what everyone knows —

if there when Grace dances,

I should dance.”

— W. H. Auden


I danced at two nieces weddings this past summer.

I danced with my goddaughter, Kate, reciting singsong verses then tossing her high to bounce in gleeful giggles on her parents’ bed.

I danced with wind and rain and heat waves, my bike and I racing through woods and on trails, practicing our bunny-hop.

Most of the time, though, I don’t dance. I forget how in my self-consciousness; I consider it wasteful in my busy-ness; I don’t think of it as an option in my unhappinesses.

“…if there when Grace dances”…

The trick is to notice those moments. To be aware of the presence first, then feel the gait and sway of Grace dancing into your day. To absorb Grace through your pores, take it in deep enough that you can’t help but begin to move with Grace: giving your whole self to it, burning your energies. Bending, swooping, twirling.


And eventually dropping exhausted onto the grass (or simply arriving at the end of the day) knowing you have been fully alive in the Great Dance. Understanding, now, that the beating in your heart, which you had thought was mere biomechanics, is really blood singing this prayer:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Gooseberry Falls, Minnesota. Photo by Mike Beck



2 thoughts on “I Should Dance

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