Something happens every time UB40’s version of Red, Red Wine comes on the radio. My heart does a nostalgic little flip-flop and I smile… an almost involuntary reaction. It’s as though a swell of love and memory has bubbled up from an ocean inside me, spilling waves of happiness against the shore of my face.
When my nieces were little, this is the song we would always dance to together. I had it on vinyl. A 45 single (I still have it.) I’d set the needle down gently, and as the first notes started wafting?through the speakers, tiny feet could be heard?scampering through the house to come find me… and we’d all dance. Laughing. Twirling. Sounds of happiness echoing through the old farmhouse in North Central Washington as our bare feet slapped?on the hardwood floor. The two youngest would jump into my arms, one child on each hip, their big sister dancing around us in happy circles, as we all swayed to the reggae-infused sound.
When my son was a wee thing, I danced with him. We sometimes chose Red, Red Wine, but more often, we danced to the Calypso grooves of Harry Belafonte, on our own hardwood floor, in a hundred year old building in Old Louisville. We made new dancing memories, just the two of us… laughing. twirling. His little body resting on my hip.
Music is infused in my blood. Dancing, too. And today, as I was getting ready to run a few errands, I found myself dancing to one of the songs piping through my iPhone… all alone, on carpet, laughing… twirling… and thinking of my beautiful family, and the babies they used to be (two of them now with babies of their own) and I thought… god, I’m lucky.