My apologies for posting this so late – it’s been a very busy week. Thanks for your patience.
We’re standing near the top of a grassy slope; well, not standing, more balancing, balancing because it’s hard to dance on a slope without falling over, and right now nothing is going to stop us dancing.
I look into the faces of my sons – we can’t stop grinning at each other as we sing. We’re probably completely tuneless except we can’t hear ourselves for the noise of everyone around us also singing. My older son sways and steps from one foot to other in time with the rhythm; his brother proceeds in clipped precise movements.
My husband edges closer as our dance moves mimic each other in old patterns from the past as I find myself simultaneously here in the present place and yet also back in a hotel in Windsor, at a works Christmas party, and in a London club on another night out decades ago. Once again, I’m smiling at him across the dance floor in Ritzy’s or the Carlton Club or Manhattan Heights before we were married. But we’re also here, now, in Lincoln Castle, mirroring each other and bumping hips crazily to exactly the same tune as then.
And the glory of it is that I don’t care. I don’t care if my dancing is good or bad. I don’t care if it’s dated or inappropriately modern for someone my age. I don’t care what other people think. I don’t care what I look like, whether my hair is behaving itself, or if I’ve chosen the right dress, or how fat I’ve become. When I’m dancing with him, I just feel confident and happy, caught up in the joy of the moment. Once more, we are a couple of dancing infernos.
Another song starts, a quieter one, and he draws me into his arms to step and turn as we hold each other. So many slow dances just like this: the night we met, our wedding day, at the end of an evening at home. My head rests in its familiar place on his shoulder as if design or erosion over time has formed the perfect jigsaw fit.
We open our arms and our sons join us in the dance. The words of love don’t just apply to romance and I tell them of how they remind me of the day each of them were born.
Dusk has crept up on us without our noticing, highlighted by the artificial glowworms of mobile phone screens filming the event. For second, I feel sorry for those so busy recording the event that they’re not fully participating in it. Their memory of it will be reduced to a few inches of a 2D screen but mine will be in glorious 5 Senses, All Immersive Technicolour in my brain.
One song blends into another. Five thousand people are pulled up onto their feet by the magnetism of the music. Arms aloft, we become an extension of the band as we sing in unison (everyone knows all the words). It becomes a call and response of the lines of the chorus between singer and crowd, repeating over and again like gospel worship in church.
And it does remind me of church, and Spring Harvest and Greenbelt, as we’re all united in song and purpose. And it propels me forward as I wonder if this is what worship around the Throne with an angelic choir will be like? Is this joy and sense of past, present and future all blended together what eternity feels like?
Is this a taste of Heaven? Oh I do hope so.