The Beautiful Thing 20 Beach Dancers did on Maui

by Lila on September 15, 2015

12007188_10153261619294022_938082759_n Photo Credit by Shannon Wianecki


This past Sunday morning, the theme I had planned to offer to dancers was Oneness. The music had already been made, the iPods were all fired up and 20 dancers were scheduled to be there. On Saturday night when I heard the news that Northern California’s fires were raging and the flames were headed in the direction of Harbin Hot Springs, the playlist and theme was suddenly more relevant than ever.

Before our dance began, I felt moved to ask for prayers to all those whose homes, livelihoods and lives already had been or would soon be affected by the path Mother Nature’s inferno would take. And so we danced the fire and the sadness and the loss. And we also danced community and shelter and rebirth. We danced alone and we danced with one another in many configurations throughout the hour and as the playlist came to an end and the first song began again, we came together. We became what I called “The Dancing Love Amoeba.”

One by one, we formed a line across the sand, staring across the big stretch of blue before us to the beyond. Then there was a clasping of all hands and we became a circle with all of us now being able to see each other. And then the circle became a moving sculpture of many bodies moving towards and away from each other over and over again, embodying oneness, embodying love. It was gorgeous. It was needed. It felt so right.  Finding words to describe feelings can be challenging. You know those moments when you just had to be there to know what I’m saying?  This was one of them.

Sometimes people give me money or other gifts for being a participant of Beach Dance. It’s a lovely gesture given that events are free.  I use the money to buy more music, headphones and iPods. This dance was different. On Sunday, I asked people to give what they could and told them all the money would be given to a friend who was an employee of Harbin. On Sunday, she didn’t know if she still had a home or if the fire had taken all her personal possessions. She knew it was likely and she also knew the place that was her second home and her job at Harbin was likely to have been destroyed as well. The random path that fire takes and what it claims and what it doesn’t is a mystery.  

Her home remains standing. Harbin burned to the ground.

She will go on and so will Harbin. For now, there is much grieving, for so many people have lost their homes, their heirlooms, their beloved pets and their livelihoods. Somehow, through all the devastation and loss, there is a miracle in all of this. Actually, there are probably many miracles we will see in the coming days, weeks, months and years as communities and individuals rebuild their homes, their businesses and their lives. There is a coming together where compassion and generosity will help us remember – we are all one.

We are all one.   

Thank you Zariah, Tharron, Shannon, Gabe, Richard, Raven, Judith, Isa, Ciara, Eleana, Maury, Patricia, Star, Steve, Moema, Louise, Joelle, Tanya and Amon for Sunday’s dance, for giving what you did – money-wise, dance-wise, heart-wise . It was one of those dances I’ll never forget and what you gave was oh-so beautiful.

Our Sunday altar. Our Sunday altar.



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