I love old movies. I have a few favorites like Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, and Double Indemnity. And If you haven’t guessed by now: I like film noir. I also love the old comedies and I am especially fond of those with dance scenes in them. One (of many) of my all-time favorite movie actor and dancer is of course Fred Astaire. Although Danny Kaye is a very close second! I am amazed by all Fred or Danny could do in rhythm to the music. And when you team Fred and Ginger Rogers together…well they just made film magic when they did their dance numbers! Every time I watch them I am amazed at how they could keep time to the music and how the choreography matched the various rhythms as the music played and they danced.
Rhythms aren’t just for music. Rhythms also exist in life. The ebb and flow of our days here on earth have a rhythm all their own and when we are out of sync, we feel it. Something is off. Sometimes we can put our finger on it but other times we just know life isn’t as it should be. The rhythm to our life is discordant. We are living in a minor key so to speak. Right now we are in a time when the rhythms of our lives throughout our nation are discordant. Life isn’t as it should be and while I don’t want to speak for any of you I think it is safe to say that we all long for a return to normal…a return to the rhythms of our lives, whatever that looks like for each one of us.
For myself, I find that during this quarantine we are under, If I maintain some semblance of what once was normal…and I am not sure I will return to all that when this is over…I don’t feel so out of sync. So while I work from home most days, I do go into the office to work at least twice a week. This is a rhythm in my life I need to maintain. I also make sure I am getting enough sleep. I try to get to bed at a decent hour (not always successful) but I do still get up at my normal time. I am also getting outside more as one of the benefits of living in Florida is most days are filled with sunshine. So I am getting out in my garden and getting my yard and flower beds in shape…they were in quite a state and now they are not. And because my yard is getting the TLC it needed, I am seeing a lot more wild life. I love having all sorts of wild life visit my yard and in the middle of a subdivision you don’t get a lot of wild life. So I enjoy the black snake that lives in my yard – I don’t enjoy getting startled by him but like having him around. I enjoy the Hawks that sometimes stop by in their search for food. I love the woodpecker, the cardinals, and the blue jays. I even had a snowy egret drop by to search for bugs and I just discovered a possum visits my yard in the evenings. Getting to watch nature up close is a great stress reliever. So for me, during this time of quarantine, I am trying to maintain my normal life rhythms as I also enjoy the world around me.
I think this is what the writer of Ecclesiastes meant when they wrote: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun…” These times signify the rhythms of life. Unfortunately in our too busy lives we don’t pay attention to these rhythms. We should. There is a time we need to sleep. Studies have shown that we all need good sleep and not just one or two hours but eight. Studies show we need to exercise (I am talking to myself here) we need to eat and not by wolfing our food down in cars on our way to the next thing. We need to sit down and enjoy our food. At the very least we need to taste what we are eating. We need time to be with other people and we need time to disengage so we can unwind and process our day. There is a time we need to work but we also need time to play and have fun. We need times of solitude spent with God as well as times we are out doing for others, making a difference in our world. Altogether these times make up the rhythms of our lives.
So, we need to pay attention to the rhythms in life. They are important. They keep us sane. They keep us in sync with the world around us. The problem we will need to be mindful of when things begin to open back up and life begins to return to some semblance of what we each consider normal is our busyness. We can get so caught up in what everyone else is doing and think we should be doing what everyone else is doing…that we end up exhausted most of the time. There is a time and a season for everything in life. Don’t rush through life trying to fit everything in that you forget to stop and enjoy the journey. Life is precious and filled with music set to a rhythm that is made just for each one of us…we just need to learn to dance our own rhythm.