On a Beach Walk: No. 44 (A Community of People)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Today is a Friday. The morning is cool – even cold to some – but, I am confident this afternoon will be comfortable for all. No matter how cold it is here, it is still warmer than home – but today I think about that distant place I call home.

There, our normal Friday night routine is ballroom dancing. We won’t be that here – but I think about that home dance community on this day.

The Friday night crowd is typically 50-75 people gathering for dancing and socializing. Most are regulars – many I’ve gotten to know – other I have not. It is an interesting collection of people that make it work.

Dance abilities range from A to Z. Only several compete, while others don’t hear the beat or the timing well. Most are in between.

Some dance with a variety of people while others dance with only their partner – but everyone has a good time.

There are married couples and married solos. Others are single, divorced, widowed, or re-married. There are parents, grandparents, and the kidless. There are American born and foreign born. Ages vary – but most are over 40. Those over 60 and 70 say, “Dancing keeps them young by keeping us moving.”

There are the tall, the short, and the in-between. The overweight, underweight, and the just about right. The fit and the not-so-fit. Introverts and extroverts. Locals and transplants.

There are the retired, still working, and about to retire. A wide range of professional skills including engineers, electricians, teachers, doctors, realtors, lawyers, technicians, pharmacists, firemen, scientists, accountants, physical therapists, service industry workers, managers, customer service representatives, carpenters, IT professionals, machinists, and the self-employed.

There are certainly Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jews, and Agnostics – and I will assume some Atheists. Surely a wide range of thoughts exist about creation.

There are Democrats and Republicans, while others are unaffiliated or don’t vote. Throughout the room are conservatives, liberals, ubers of each, and moderates. Nationalists and globalists are also present.

The music plays – people smile and dance. They laugh and converse. A wide variety of people with variety of backgrounds, personalities, interests, and personal philosophies that make it work despite their differences.

As I walk, thinking about this group at home causes me to smile. It also reinforces my belief that the majority of humanity is good – and this is a good feeling to accompany me because I like walking the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

52 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 44 (A Community of People)

  1. Community is a good thing to muse on while walking the beach Frank. Yours sounds like a thoroughly healthy one too. As you have pointed out so well, one of the wonderful things about dancing is the wide variety of people who make a connection to it – perhaps we should all practise dancing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline,
      Oh yes – Community is a good thing and something that most of us want. There are obviously many differences within this group, but there is a unifying factor that breaks through the differences – and I imagine that is true in other communities as well. …. well, except for the homogeneous communities. Thanks for walking along and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Two thoughts …

    Thought #1 … I’m headed to the Oregon Coast at the end of this month and can’t wait to walk along the beach. There is no more relaxing, refreshing thing than to walk on a beach.

    Thought #2 … your comment about the variety of people who are at the Friday night dancing. There is this thing that social media has done — instead of pulling us together, it has pulled us apart. It has created echo chambers in which our views are reinforced and in which we can believe that the other side is evil and wrong. For awhile I commented frequently on a right wing blog and the right-wingers on the blog would attack me mercilessly. Once of them decided to Google me at some point and discovered that I write fiction. He purchased one of my short story collections and then reached out to me via my blog. Since then we have had an incredible interaction — because we realized that we were people, we were Americans, we were something more than the idiocy that happens in the comments section on political blogs. We were human beings.

    We really need to get back to recognizing some basic things about the other people we live with in this country.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark,
      Thanks for the excellent comment. Your point in Thought #2 is perfect – and an important aspect of my thoughts (although I never directly stated it). Your example of two people finding common ground in your fiction is touching and hopeful! Unfortunately, too few people take the time to get past the differences.

      Enjoy your walk on the Oregon coast!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is good that there is a community made up of so many different kinds of people with so many different beliefs. It reminds of stories I’ve heard–someone was “against” gay people or immigrants or whatever, but then got to really know someone and realized they are not so different.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Music and dance is the motivation, but maybe people there all get along because they want to get along – and enjoy themselves.
    There used to be many such social occasions – the objective was clear: entertainment and fun.
    Is it some self-centered people’s desire to make sure everyone else know how wonderful and smart they are that leads to bringing up subjects that are sure to bring out strong emotions/conflicts with others?
    People used to try and get along so much more – remember the unwritten rule about avoiding topics of “how much do you make”, politics, religion…?
    All comes from making an effort and a clear objective to have a pleasant time. Glad it’s alive and well in some corners…maybe it’ll spread – positive notes of music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mouse,
      You have brought forward many good points. Today (to some) intentionally bringing up politics is a chance to show “this is who I am” … much like the clothes one wears as an identifier. Then again, some people like to talk, but they don’t realize how dumb they sound. Thanks for dancing along.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Monika,
      Eclectic is a good term for this group. Maybe another way that it works is (in dance terms) we don’t step on each other’s toes. Meanwhile – I’m already back because I wrote this in January.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aahhhh …. I could feel the cool breeze on my face. When that happens its invigorating.
    I believe that the endorphins released when dancing lift our spirits. When hubby and i joined a square dancing group many, many years ago, we found it to be the perfect example of unity. Four couples coordinating to the called steps of the caller in unison may seem difficult to accomplish. However, it isn’t at all. Everyone wants everyone to do well. When a blank stare comes on someones face because they’ve forgotten a step and don’t know which way to go, it’s up to you to get them to the spot they need to be so that the square doesn’t breakdown. Lending a helping hand and enjoying at the same time. Perhaps, politicians should square dance. LOL AND …. yes … ballroom is the same except there’s only you and your partner.
    Thanks for the lovely beach walk.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard to follow Sirens of the Caspian!
    Refreshers all around! I like your thinking about dancing at home. The entire reflection was a metaphor tied to feet, your feet, feet on the beach.
    Very neat, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love hearing about your typical Friday nights, Frank, and my only additional thought is that I wish I could join you! It sounds so lovely to me. I think that one of the most important benefits of a beach walk is TIME. We take the time in the quiet of the surf to think and contemplate and to appreciate. This was an incredibly beautiful post, Frank. It spoke to me!


  8. Late to the party… Lovely walk and yes, when people get together for a common activity, all thoae barriers fall away. We should dance (or whatever) more often.


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