Day 239: Happy Dance, Just Because

Happy Dance feet e

Today’s first was the culmination of several inspirations. August 27 is Just Because Day. The day offers the chance to do something without having a reason for it, free of expectations or “have tos”.  It was the opportunity to explore something new, uncommon or unexpected, just because I wanted to! What a perfect day to celebrate a first.

While in Scotland, I walked every day. I liked the way my body responded to the additional exercise and inspired, I vowed to continue walking when I returned home. Except I discovered, upon my arrival home, that it was in the 90’s, temperature wise, in Missouri. I’ve let the warm weather be my excuse for not walking. Today, I wanted to move beyond that excuse and combine a walk on a new trail with Just Because Day.

Happy Dance trail e

My greatest inspiration for today’s first was my five year old granddaughter, Aubrey. On a recent trip to Chick Fil A, just us girls, Aubrey came out of the children’s play area, announcing that she had to use the restroom. We headed toward the restrooms, across the restaurant. I walked behind Aubrey. But she didn’t walk. She danced. Not the well known “pee pee dance” that small children perform when they’ve almost waited too long to get to a bathroom. No, this was pure, uninhibited joy, expressed as dance. She moved with the freedom of expression that children so easily inhabit, swinging her arms side to side, twirling occasionally. People watched her with smiles on their faces, as she pranced by. One diner caught Aubrey’s eye and this beautiful child tossed out a “Hello there!” as she danced on through. As we reached the restroom door, she twirled dramatically for her finale. I laughed with delight. And I wished I had danced along behind her. When did I outgrow public freedom of expression and become too concerned about what others might think?

The final inspiration for this evening’s adventure came from Zumba class this morning. Dave introduced a new dance routine, set to Pharrell Williams’ incredibly fun song, “Happy”. I love that tune. It was a very upbeat song to do Zumba to. Thinking about my first for today, I knew I wanted to include this joyful song.

All those inspirations came together this evening as the sun began to set. I chose to walk on the new trail north of Parr Hill Park and 15th Street. Dozens of young trees have been planted in that green space and a paved walking trail winds through the area, connecting the pathways from Parr Hill Park with the Campbell Parkway Trail. I had downloaded the Happy song on my iPhone. And with a freedom inspired by Aubrey, I danced and walked along the trail as the song played cheerfully on my phone. To document the moment, I did a short video. I discovered I couldn’t play the song and create a video at the same time. I improvised by shooting the footage, as I sang the song, and then later creating a movie of the Happy Dance by using my new app, Magisto.

Happy Dance face e

The heat was draining out of the day as I turned off the video, cranked up the music, and just moved. I didn’t meet any other walkers on the trail, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had. I danced. I sang. I moved my feet and clapped my hands. I thought of Aubrey and wished she could have joined me. I’m sure we would have laughed. So I laughed and exalted in the freedom. I celebrated Just Because Day….and life.