“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” 

Around 2, I was reading in bed. The dogs were comfortable, one beside me and the other at my feet. I thought I heard something so I put my book down to listen. It was an uncommon sound. I listened intently and then realized it was drops of rain. I listened longer just because it was the rain. This morning is still rainy, foggy and only 67°. I am so glad I chose not to wash the floors yesterday; instead, I planted the last of the flowers I had bought.

When I was a kid, the whole week loomed before me starting on Sunday nights when I had to go to bed early. “It’s a school night,” my mother would say as if I needed to be reminded. Monday mornings were the worst. Early was the word of the day: up early, dressed early and an early school morning breakfast of cocoa, eggs, cereal, either hot or cold, and toast. I’d bolt down my breakfast then grab my lunch box and my school bag before I was out the door for the walk to school.

When I was in the first grade, I had to memorize pages of answers from the catechism, the Baltimore Catechism. I remember some even now, 69 years later. Who made you? God made me. Who is God? God is the creator of all things. Where is God? God is everywhere. That last question had me thinking. Did that mean in bathrooms or at the movies? I pictured God in flowing robes enjoying himself on a Ferris wheel, but I never did ask those questions. I instinctively knew Sister Redempta would get mad.

One of the silliest things I remember was when we were told to make room for our guardian angels on our desk seats. I found sitting on half a seat uncomfortable, and besides, angels could fly. Why did mine need my seat? I didn’t ask that question either.

The best church service I ever attended was in Ghana, in Bawku. My Ghanaian sister invited me to a New Year’s Eve service at her church. It was amazing. It was filled with clapping, singing and dancing in the aisles. Women back then wore traditional clothing made from bright Ghanaian fabric. Flashes of color whirled by me as the women danced their way down the aisle. My sister grabbed me, and I joined the dancing, sort of, with my rhythmless steps, but the Ghanaians didn’t care I couldn’t dance. They smiled at me anyway, happy I had joined them.

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2 Comments on ““Dance is the hidden language of the soul” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today is a repeat of yesterday’s weather. It was wonderful to drive to work with the sunroof opened. Unfortunately, the heat will return tomorrow.

    Every kid has the same kind of questions that you had while studying the Catechism. To me I imagined god as an old man with a long beard. I didn’t realize the Catechism was composed in Baltimore.

    You actually were required to move over and share your seat literally with an angel?

    What you described in the church in Ghana is similar to the services in many of the African American churches. Traditions hang on from one generation to the next. I probably would have enjoyed going to synagogue services if we had been brought up in an African American synagogue. We in the western tradition make religion somber and boring.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      It rained on and off all day today, and it is still an ugly day. For tomorrow they are predicting thunder storms. By the middle of the week, the humidity will be just about gone, and the days will be lovely.

      Yes, it was in Baltimore where the catechism was prepared and enjoined. It lasted from 1885 to the late 1960s as the prime catechism. I remember mine had a blue cover. It has been replaced.

      Not actually. It was more of a suggestion to make sure our angels stayed close. I think it happened in the first grade only.

      I uses to love the folk masses. They had great music and were really well attended. One night in Koforidua, Ghana, we went to the local spot, a bit of a bar, and imbibed. On the way back to our school, we sang the songs from the mass. I doubt the Ghanaians were fans.


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