There are gifts I've been given, without knowing, until I rediscover them.
My world shifted tonight, in a magical way.
Remembering moments, that were little things then, but are soft, shining gifts now.
My first pair of pointe shoes. That was a BIG moment.
The excitement in the store that smelled so good. My first trip to California. Feeling sophisticated and giddy, getting fitted. Hopping up in the first pair and promptly snapping the shanks with sheer strength.
Feeling special, and a little proud, the lady and customers admiring my feet.
Deciding on custom shoes (triple shank, 3/4 length, cut down heels) and still coming home with a fresh pair to wear now.
A coming of age. A right of passage for a dancer. I floated home with mom, in that sunny San Fransisco air, and put them right back on when we got to the hotel, to show Dad. I was nine, and the world was an adventure.
But she gave me another gift, the next day, and I had forgotten it until tonight.
Sitting by her knee, and watching her, as she taught me how to sew the ribbons on one shoe. Then she did one side of the other shoe, and I did the other to match. Trying to copy her stitches and angle them just so.
The smell of the new shoes, and the ribbons, and the soft, even, shulling sound of her deftly pulling the thread through......
Her voice, gentle and encouraging, and her stitches, perfect and elegant, from her graceful fingers.
It was just, "Simple.....see? Now you try..."
I loved those moments and I was so proud of my first efforts, that little accomplishment of ours, together. And my first, official pair of pointe shoes.
I wish I could have told her that, remembering this now, I'm just as grateful for those moments, as I was for the shoes. The gentle, easy, gifts of moments.