A Dance Memory

.. I missed breakfast, bah.
A cup of tea with a biscuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tea had been made and poured into dainty cups. I carried the tea tray through to the living room, placing it on the table in front of the sofa we always sat on. My grandmother favoured the spot in the sunlight as it warmed her during the cool winter days. I enjoyed the spot as the sun shone on her face, highlighting her smiling face. I passed a cup to her, with the “p’tit biscuit”. After helping herself to a spoonful of sugar, she sat back comfortably and began stirring her tea. I settled in next to her, ready to spend hours in the company of someone I loved very much. I enjoyed this weekly visit to my grand-mere: I discussed my concerns with her and shared my joys. She told me of hers; and took me into the past and a life experience that no longer exists.

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured ...
An early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a mild winter’s day when she took me to a balmy Saturday evening in Mauritius. Men and women had dressed up for the evening. The men, she told me, looked handsome in their suits – no jeans and t-shirts for this evening’s attire! The women were dressed to the nines as well: hair done up in the style of the day, and bodies enveloped in beautiful dresses. It was the weekly dance: the band was playing and couples were dancing on the floor. Everyone knew how to dance: the waltz, the foxtrot, the quickstep. The band played the rhumba and cha-cha as well. My grand-mere reminisces on the dance card she had, a card that was always full. “I was a good dancer and everyone wished to dance with me.” The smile on her face told of fond memories and pleasant experiences.

“So different from today,” I said to her. “Nowadays no-one knows how to dance – the men seem to avoid dancing and moving to music. Ah, I would have loved to have been there: listening to the sounds of the band, and moving to the rhythm of the music with someone who knew how to dance.”

We moved away from the past and back to the present. Our journey into the past would occur the next time we met. I remember leaving her that afternoon thinking about how beautiful she must have looked when she was 17 years old. And how gracefully she must have danced for her dance card to be full. Now I think back to the times when my grand-mere took be back to the past and smile. Smile because I am thinking of the past, a past which was made richer during my weekly visits with the matriarch of my family.

(This post was a response the the Weekly Writing Challenge posted by the Daily Post. This week we were challenged to try something different.  It was more difficult than I thought to write down a memory of a visit with my grandmother. I can only hope that with practice I will better be able to capture the moment with words.)

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26 thoughts on “A Dance Memory

  1. I think this was very well written. I could picture the two of you sitting there sipping tea and sharing memories. I could see your grandmother dressed to the nines smiling and giggling through her dances. What a wonderful memory you convey to us. Thank you for letting us peak into your memory.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  2. Colline! Beautiful writing. I felt as if I were there in that moment with your grand-mere. Re-capturing a memory with your grand-mere brought back memories with mine. Dancing and full dance cards were also the topic. Sunday roast beef dinner was the day of the week I could always find her at my home. When the Lawrence Welk show began, I was called to the tv with great excitment by both grandparents to share their delight in the big band. Whenever they found a movie with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire they would also call for me to see.

    My grandmother would tell me about when she met my grandfather and it all sounded soooo romantic! Dancing and singing were key features of their time together. I wished I could have been born in that era. I too, found that boys were dis-interested in dancing. I loved to dance and could find no partners. Also couple dancing was not popular when we were teens was it? Except for slow dancing which was not dancing at all! No steps. No gracefulness or beauty in those dances.

    There is nothing quite like dancing! Romantic and sensual. Beautiful and engaging for both partners when enjoyed by both the man and the woman.

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    1. And they could talk to one another while dancing too – and what better way to get to know someone who is courting you. As you say, so romantic. I would definitely have loved living during the Big Band era. 🙂

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  3. Loved your nice post Colline. You are so lucky to have the time to spend with your grand-mere. While granddaughters are good at feigning differences, grandmothers are the spoilers (by over-pampering) of grandchildren that most parents complain about..I am now a follower to your blog. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your compliment Maxim. I have found that grandmothers have earned the right to spoil their grandchildren a little – not with money but with abundant love and extra care. That was what my grandmother gave me – and that continued right into my adulthood. I could not be indifferent to her as I felt a deep connection with her.

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  4. That is a truly beautiful story and what a lovely memory for to have. It is so good to write them down, you daughters will now have access to a story that has made it permanent in memory.

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      1. I wanted to do that with my mother-in-law, she had some wonderful stories of my husbands childhood and things they did, he doesn’t remember much, his memory is so bad, but she died 10 years ago and those stories are gone now. So I hope you do do that. They will be very appreciated, I’m sure. 🙂

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