By Kelly Swanson
Every summer we used to meet over at Mee Maw and Paw Paw’s house on the pond for a family reunion after church – same Sunday every year. And you’d show up bringing your latest addition, or attachment, philosophy on life, lingering grudge, or the dish you were known for making, like Aunt Bitsy’s congealed salad surprise which just goes to show that surprises aren’t always a good thing.
And somewhere after dinner or supper or lunch – whatever you like to call it depending on where you are from – we’d all collapse anywhere we could find a spot inside to avoid the heat and commence to staring at each other and just talking. And somewhere out of the tranquil boredom of that Sunday afternoon a bud of an argument would sprout – usually over politics or religion or Cousin Enid’s latest experimentations with the darker side of life – something that tends to happen when you put folks together that are bonded by blood instead of choice.
And just when things would get heated to the point where you were sure it would come to blows or that Mee Maw’s heart would give out once and for all, Uncle Skeet would pull out his guitar and quietly start to pick. Sometimes it was a little Hank, sometimes a little Willie, and sometimes one of those good old Gospel bluegrass favorites of my childhood. And quietly underneath the tension the tune would float through the air. Some bright morning when this life is over. I’ll fly away. And someone would start to hum. Another would tap his foot. Eyes would close. To that home on God’s celestial shore. I’ll fly away. And as the tune picked up in speed, without prodding, some folks would get up and push back the furniture. And we’d start to dance. Hand in hand. I’ll fly away oh glory, I’ll fly away. And in that one moment the rest of the world grew blurry. In that moment we forget about our differences. We remembered what brought us together. In that moment it was about the music. And we’d dance.
Our lives are filled with stress – especially in the workplace. How often do you take the time to push back the furniture and dance?
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