© 2021 Deborah Strod
Once upon a time, there was a dance that was passed on from grandmothers to their daughters, and from those daughters to their daughters. If a girl had no mother, then another elder woman passed it to her. Once day it was a little girl’s turn to learn the dance. Her mother took her out to the woods, where there was just room enough to move. The little girl said, “But how can we dance? There’s barely enough room to move?”
Her mother answered, “This is a dance in harmony with nature. Dance like me, with the trees and around the trees, over the ground cover and through the bushes,” and she started to sing a tune and weave in and among the trees. The girl started to dance like her mother, moving to the sound of her mother’s voice. Soon she was singing herself, and dancing with the trees on her own.
She soon found herself completely absorbed in the trees through which she moved, by their bark as she brushed along it, by the wind across her face as she twirled and dipped, by plants under her feet, and the sound of her voice through the forest as her own tune came out of her mouth without her even trying.
After a while, she realized that her mother had stopped dancing long ago, and was watching peacefully from a distance. This is how it always was – every girl started dancing with her elder, then made up her own moves and her own tune. The little girl, who was now a woman in the eyes of her people, finished her dance and then ran over to her mother and gave her a big hug.