Today is leap day-year and just yesterday Mario sent me two photos from his face book account, leaping us back to me petting the wild horses on Chincoteague Island where we vacationed in 1976. We were boyfriend/girlfriend then. It was not a long term relationship because he soon traveled to Italy for medical school, and I had two small children to take care of. We met on the disco-dance floor, both of us loving to dance, leading us to loving each other. Later, we rode horseback into Valley Forge for the bicentennial. As I looked at the photos, tears streamed as I wrote how sad I was that we had lost contact for many years and asking myself how could I have forgotten my love connection with Mario.
Now, I am leaping back in time, to my first seeing of the Nutcracker Suite in November 2010, in Ithaca, NY. I was very familiar with the music, wondering why it took me so long to see this famous ballet. As the second act began, where the prima ballerina dances, joined by her male partner, my eyes fill with tears, and my sobs could not be held back…nor did I want them to be. I was excited and stunned, although the connection had been made to my past life as a professional ballerina through my primal-crying sessions over a period of years, even to the extent of having body memories, pain where I had broken my ankle, and thereby I had lost my ballerina career.
It is not uncommon for clients of psychotherapy to retrieve forgotten memories that have been repressed in order to survive childhood pain. Still, after 25 years of personal and professional healing work I continue to be amazed and validated as I was in December of 2010, when I bought tickets for the Boston Ballet Company’s performance of the Nutcracker Suite. I wanted my daughter and two granddaughters, then seven and five, to experience this beautiful ballet. Emily, then five, sat on my lap as the second act began, and when the prima ballerina danced her duet, I burst into tears once again at the very same place I had cried at Ithaca’s performance, my sobbing bouncing Emily. Yet, this sensitive child did not look around to see my tears, entranced by the ballet. Megan and Riley did turn briefly to see me crying, unconcerned, as they are very familiar with my ‘pearls of god’, as Rumi, a 13th century poet describes tears.
These no longer forgotten memories fill me with joy, especially as they helped, yes convinced me, to let go of guilt for dancing several nights a week, a childhood guilt driven into me by my fundamentalist ‘born again’ mother who would not permit dancing, or other worldly temptations like Hollywood movies.
Now, I am reminded of two days ago, when driving on a country Maryland road, no cars near me, as I approach a black swirl of birds, the Starlings I love, because they more and more often find their way to fly directly over my car. One time they formed an infinity sign over me. This day it seemed a thousand STARlings were flying over me and back again. I could not help but think that the Design of the Universe, the force of love, is again affirming its care of me, not forgetting, as my mouth speaks out loud, “AWESOME” over and over again, as I travel down the road, smiling with ahssssssssssssssssss.