And they danced
Last weekend was wonderful. I attended a surprise party for my dear friends who were celebrating a variety of occasions, including their 30th anniversary. I had been at their wedding, so it was a reminder to me as well of the passage of time.
My favorite moment was when they and their married guests danced together. I love watching people dance slow dances who know each other's dancing moves -- however basic those moves are. I love the way the movements fit, unawkwardly, how the arms know where to go, how the feet know how to move. Some couples have danced so much through the years that they have these little dips and swirls that they do, or the woman has a special way she crooks her fingers around the man's hand, or up against the back of his neck. The man's hand on her back is just so - leading from a familiar curve in her back.
It is easy to tell who has been together for a while. Those are the couples who just glide into place next to each other's bodies, so unselfconsciously and simply.
I watched my friend, whom I have known since we were five, dance with her husband. I saw how proud of her he is, and how happy with him she is. I watched her rest her face gently for a few moments in the familiar hollow of his shoulder. I found myself crying, weeping big tears of happiness for them, for her.
So often we hear the stories of love that didn't last, the sadness of divorce, and in honesty I can tell some of those tales about my own life. But here is my friend, who has made it across the finish line. Husband. Children. A life not without struggle, but not without love and joy either. I watched this woman dance in the arms of her husband, in the midst of a family that loves them, friends that love them, and it was all I could do to not stand up and cheer.
This little freckle-faced girl who has been in my life for almost all of it is now a woman fully grown and even more beautiful in the moment of her celebration. My heart burst with happiness for her.
It is a joy to just be around such fine folks, watching them dance, watching her rest her face gently against his shoulder as he smiles.