Watching Friday night’s presentation of The Nutcracker at Viterbo University was magical.
And just like that “magic in that old silk hat Frosty wore” – I believe there just had to be some magic sprinkled over every single child as they danced and cavorted in light and spirited moves around the stage.
Or else – how could they possibly have known what to do – or remember where to stand and be at any given moment -deliver the perfect action, the just-right- expression to wear?
For these were young children – many young children – children we know who are at an age that often ignore requests, don’t always listen to direction, daydream, say they’re bored, maybe decide to do things another way – or even complain they’re “too tired”.
But not this evening – not this time.
Of course Maria and the Nutcracker Prince and Godmother Drosselmeyer and many other mature dancers were very talented and lovely to watch, but it was the children who amazed and enchanted me.
Amazed and enchanted me because their performance was so wonder-filled and joyous.
So maybe – maybe – their performance was so wonder-filled because each of these children felt significant, knew how important they were for the whole to succeed, that their part, no matter how small, contributed to the beauty and success of the show?
They were a part of something big.
Maybe that was the magic of the night.
My ear is always open to someone sharing a good story – especially a personal one that resonates with me – that touches my heart – or tickles my funny bone.
From the time I first learned to read independently, I always loved biographies and remember devouring a series of children’s books at the time that featured the early lives of famous people from the past.
Actually I often find myself reading an obituary of someone I don’t even know. If I see a particularly lengthy one, I find myself curious about this person’s life – this person’s story being told for all to read – and I am often filled with awe with what even a simple life can mean.
And whenever someone of stature passes away, there are always stories galore that help to define and personalize what made that person memorable. I’m a fan of this kind of narrative – one that shares so many often unknown, often poignant, often compassionate anecdotes.
In some ways, I believe it’s the way history should be taught in schools – through true stories about people in history that give significant meaning to their contributions – to who they really were.
I’ve often suggested to parents to honor and share their family history in this way. If we can celebrate and learn about George Washington’s life, why not your deceased Uncle George’s – who lived an exemplary life of his own – with humor, diligence, caring and love – and lots of stories to be told.
“Let me tell you a story about Gramma Mary when she was your age.”
This is the simplest, most meaningful way to reveal what makes people’s lives authentic – to impress, to recognize that all of us have a story – and how beautiful it is to value them – to share them.
“Did I tell you the story about …