Many thanks to Dianne Rosena Jones, my friend, sister, and author of ‘Tragic Treasures’ and ‘Dancing with the Universe’ for the opportunity to dance with the Universe a few days ago on Anna Maria Island, Florida.
The invitation came late Thursday and by Saturday afternoon, I was on the island. It felt good being on the road again, driving through towns I’d never visited, and seeing sights I’d never seen. I had no idea that olives grew in Georgia until I passed Georgia Olive Farms in Lakeland.
But it was during a chance encounter Sunday morning that I experienced firsthand the importance of being in the moment and open to dancing with the Universe. Dianne and I were out on the pier for the express purpose of capturing the sunrise. With the sun on the horizon, however, Geri, Bob and pup Maxmillian III approached and asked if I’d photograph them. Geri was so engaging that I was concerned I’d miss my shots. I clearly recall the moment, though, when I let go and became one with it. As a result, I captured an amazing sunrise and the added bonus of a most inspiring encounter.
Geri shared her “love at first sight” moment with the man she married ten years later and to whom she remained married for 54 years. Widowed just over a year ago, she was continuing the tradition they started over ten years ago: visiting Anna Maria Island every year. She was truly inspiring!
Later, we brunched with Marsha and Norman. It was our first time meeting them, but it felt more like being with old friends. They recently relocated to Florida after sixty plus years in Illinois without prior plans to do so. Having decided to dance, however, “things just fell into place” and they’re loving where the dance has led them.
At their suggestion, Dianne and I decided to view the manatees at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. The manatees must’ve been dancing elsewhere that afternoon because we didn’t see any. We then followed the dance to Tampa where we had dinner at Bella’s Italian in Hyde Park. It was there that we experienced the best ginger beer and ‘Pazzo Pazzo’ pizza ever!
We left the island Tuesday afternoon after breakfasting at Peach’s where they serve peach cobbler in mason jars. They were out of cobbler that morning, though. I visited family in Jacksonville and Savannah before heading home Thursday.
It was a fantastic six days but I can recall the time when I would’ve found an excuse not to accept such a spontaneous invitation. Thanks to the power of release, though, I can now embrace the dance and experience how grand life really is.