I always look forward to Wednesdays in the summer, because here in Rochester, for me and my growing family and circle of friends, summer Wednesdays mean concerts at the beach. Picnic dinners assembled with everyone’s specialty, a night of relaxation and laughter, a moment apart from the sometimes hectic pace of my day-to-day life. There on the shore of Lake Ontario I take a deep breath and bask in the wonder of simply being alive and being loved.
This week marked the first concert of the season, and though I didn’t even bother to check who was playing before we arrived, I knew it would be a great night. And I was not let down. It was a beautiful evening on the shore of Lake Ontario. People came from all over the city to share the breathtaking view of sand and lake and sailboats, to feel the cool breeze, and of course, to listen to the music. We ate mile-high sandwiches, homemade potato salad with fresh dill, watermelon, and raspberries arranged just so on a plate of shortbread and chocolates. We sat together under our usual tree watching the diversity of Rochester span out in front of us – everyone gathered for a night off, a night to play with puppies, eat M&Ms sold by the local church group, and enjoy the show.
And what a show it was. Old songs that everyone knew the words to belted out over the loudspeakers as the band played. But I have to admit that while the band was fantastic – the dancers stole the show. The Hot Flash Dancers – women in their sixties and seventies performing choreographed dance routines in matching black and white striped mini-skirts and over-the-elbow gloves, lip-sinc-ing to classics reminding us that they can still bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. These women brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes as I sang and danced along. Their obvious love of life, their sense of humor, their embrace of their passions and talents reminded me of the importance of living in this moment. The Hot Flash Dancers, in all of their glory, reminded me of our tradition’s insistence that the holy is not and was not revealed in one book, at one time and place – but that the holy is constantly being revealed if only we have eyes to see. Joy in living right here, right now, in this moment. A revelation of the holy on the shores of Lake Ontario brought to me by the Hot Flash Dancers.