I remember that when my brother and I were children it was one of our greatest ideas of fun to go into the parlor, where I would put on one of the CDs of classical music that my mother had brought home from the dollar store--Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak, we were not particular then--and we would start bouncing around the room. Then my father would hear us, and he would come into the room, catch my brother, and throw him up in the air (and catch him again on the way down, of course), and then he would take my brother’s hand, and perhaps my hand too, and we would all start dancing, or bouncing, rather, because none of us really knew what we were doing when we danced. Then my mother would come into the room, and she would watch us and smile, and then sometimes, in spite of her bad back, she would take my hand and start dancing with me, and then we would all be together, dancing, bouncing, and smiling.
And then perhaps Mendelssohn laughed, remembering how he and his sister Fanny played together in fun at the piano--yes, and she was laughing as well, for she was always known for her laughter--and perhaps Schumann, free from melancholia, was delighted--so many of his works were for the childlike--and perhaps Beethoven was overjoyed. And old Bach? Yes, he was smiling at us too. And in the presence of the Lord are they.
Even now, our family still has vestiges of this dance. This evening, when I was doing the dishes after dinner, I put on a recording of Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma playing Dvorak’s Humouresque, one of my mother’s favorite recordings, and my mother came into the kitchen, picked up one of our cats off the kitchen island, and started to dance around the kitchen with him.
And someday, I do not know when or how in this broken world, I will have a husband and children of my own to bounce and dance with, and there will be music still, and they will hear it, and the music will be passed on, and the love will be passed on, and the joy will be passed on, and we will dance and bounce together and smile and make the old composers laugh, and we will have our glimpse of the Joy that is to come, and, I pray, the Lord will smile upon our dancing, bouncing family.