• Becca Brynga

"Hope is the Thing with Feathers"

Another strange week, in a year of strange weeks. The part (thankfully, very tiny part) of me that buys into Mama Maria’s magical thinking is blaming myself for bringing on the shutdown. I not only started rehearsals last week for a potential fall of 2021 performance, but also bought a 2021 planner. Too much, Liz, too much. A huge mea culpa for this grievous fault... once a Catholic :).

Yet, I still feel that small glimmer of hope that flickered into existence last Saturday. We may be surprised that the margin was smaller than hoped but goodness and decency did win out. We had gorgeous sunny weather that made it feel as though even nature was for once happy with us. Now I know that warm weather was evidence of climate change; but, I for one relished that extra sunshine. I give a deep apology to the Polar Bears, but oh how I love the sun.

Don and I took an afternoon at the beach and we were rewarded with the most astonishing sunset. The following morning I was up early enough to see the moon setting. Vermont can really put on a show.

Beauty is all around us, and with more restrictions in place it is time to keep our hopeful optimism fed.

So far, we can keep dancing, and that’s what I will do. If/when we can’t be in the studio, I am a lot more comfortable with zoom. Experiences this semester with zoom include: Daisy the cat sitting on iPad, Hooper losing his admittedly small mind when the Enemy, the UPS man stopped in front of our house, Daisy swatting Hooper to punish UPS tantrum, WiFi cutting out, music volume issues, and one poor student dancing in the tiniest corner. Yet we danced. Students in the halls of SMC joined my Jazz One class when we did the Thriller monster walk for Halloween. There is room for joy, there is room for hope.

We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. A trip to the grocery store can turn into the sheer delight of Mountain View’s, sunsets , foliage and occasional woodland creature. A short drive takes me to a beach with the tiniest beautiful unbroken shells. Yesterday I discovered a new path walking distance from my house; a little moss filled glen in the hollow, complete with babbling brook. How lucky I am.

I am choosing hope, the thing with feathers. I am choosing to believe that we will all act for the good of others, mask up, wash up, and hunker down. There are books to be read, music to be listened to, walks to be taken and dances to be created.

I am not delusional. At any moment studios might close, college dance gone; I could have zero income. This has not happened yet, and until it does I will hope. Let’s all work and hope together. To preserve the life we love, we might have to give it up for a while. Like a zen koan at once simple and impossible to understand, we need to stay in this moment, sacrifice to regain. We can do it.

Let’s hope together, and dance together. If it comes to being together just in spirit, let our spirit bring joy to others. Here’s hoping; peace.

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