Oh, sunny, sunny, sunny days
Ain’t nothin’ better in the world, you know
Than lyin’ in the sun with your radio~Lighthouse 1972
As I headed out into the garden this weekend to tackle weeds, I decided last minute to change direction and tackle the hammock instead. After all, in the face of a growing threat to the pollinators that are so essential to our ecosystem, Canadian scientists have proven the importance of dandelions as an early and easily available food source. Who am I to argue with Canadian scientists?
So I soaked up the sun stealing through the shade of the apple blossom tree and breathed in the scent of the lilacs. As the warm temperatures lured everyone outside to enjoy a sneak peak of the holiday weather to come, I surveyed the street from under the wide brim of my sun hat. I watched as people passed by, hooked up to earphones pumping out old time favourites or previewing new artists, all vying for the privilege of becoming the new anthem of summer.
I too have a memory card loaded with an eclectic taste of music categorized into playlists that reflect my moods. My current picks include Never Be Like You by Flume featuring fellow Canadian Kai and One Dance by Drake just to keep the red and white flag flying proudly. Catering to my crush on strong sexy women I’ve pulled from Beyonce’s Lemonade album and for some feel good fun I dance around to Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, just to name a few.
I wonder though how these neighbours and strangers alike manage to jog, bike and walk their dogs as songs stream through their consciousness. I try venturing out to the rhythm of the rhymes but never manage to make it around the block without getting myself all tangled up in dog leashes. One cannot simply walk to the beat of the drum. I sashay and spin and whip and nae nae and sometimes just stop, so I can belt out the chorus with the concentration it deserves (Or because Vanilla Ice told me to in the opening lyrics of Ice, Ice Baby).
While the dogs find my performances incredibly exciting I’m sure those watching from behind windows must wonder who let the lunatic out for the day, and if her caregivers know that she’s gone.
I’m aware of the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t show their appreciation of a solid melody by two stepping down the street with the devotion of one of J.Lo’s back up dancers, I just struggle to understand why.
As a society we are taught at a young age that the correct answer when someone asks how you are, is to plaster on a smile and answer, “fine”, even if we happen to be staring depression in the face. I can understand the desire to spare others our sadness but why do we feel the need to shield anyone from our joy? Music can be more effective at reviving the soul than a double shot of espresso yet as we age, we hide our light under a barrel instead of waving it over our head at our favourite concerts with reckless abandon.
From the Brazilian Rainforests where tribes have used dance to enter trance states thought to protect participants from disease, to the First Nations Jingle Dress dance as a healing ritual for sick or injured community members, music and movement has always played an important role in our physical and emotional wellbeing.
It has been used to tell our stories, to express our feelings and to escape our worries and yet I still get strange looks if I stop traffic to pull over and dance to that Cake song that always reminds me of university days when every night felt like a dance party held in my honour.
These days I save my best moves for my son as we shake our tail feathers in the privacy of the living room and I rue the day he realizes the world has no time for dancers that don’t follow strict choreography.
Still, all is not lost. While I’m not much of a sports fan, I can still appreciate a good Super Bowl party thanks to spectacularly staged half time shows (and let’s face it, the amazing 7 layer dips don’t hurt either!) I was thrilled last year to feel a sort of kinship with the left shark that appeared to go rogue during Katy Perry’s performance of Teenage Dream. I imagine he started his day like any other; ready to give the crowds exactly what they expected. He knew the routine, he might even have practiced in front of the mirror, and yet when he got on that stage, under the flashing lights, base pounding through his veins he decided to bring it to the bridge by just throwing his hands up and letting the music take him down in Internet history.
For a moment left shark epitomized my entire existence as a parent. Going in with a game plan, but then somehow ending up just winging it.
Well, if it’s good enough for left shark, it’s good enough for me.
However you choose to spend your weekends I hope you’re surrounded by people that encourage you to dance like no one is watching. Here in Canada, summer is too short to let it slip by without an amazing soundtrack. I hope I’ve inspired you with just a few.
So in the words of Justin Timberlake
“I can’t stop the feeling so just dance, dance, dance. I can’t stop the feeling so keep dancing, come on”
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche