School starts tomorrow (whoo-hoo!!) and the mothers nearby are already anticipating The Annual Rejoicing. I will be celebrating the happy event with a dear friend, chatting about any thought that crosses our cheerful minds and drinking a large frozen hot chocolate, which tastes like cool heaven and causes the best kind of brain freeze.
In other forms of celebration, I'm still pondering a weekly "happening" that took place on the Siesta Key beach. We'd gone out to lunch one day during our Florida vacation and I, preoccupied with my coconut shrimp, didn't quite understand what the friendly waitress was saying. Something about "Sunday night drumming on the beach" and that we'd love it.
Well, she was very nice, and a knowledgeable local, and though we weren't sure what we were getting ourselves into, we took her word for it and went to the beach spot she'd suggested. An amazing event awaited us.
A large group of drummers gathered and formed a circle on the white sand--some who knew each other, many who did not--and they began playing. It was spontaneous and unrehearsed. A percussive jam session. A handful of regulars started it off but, soon, everyone with any kind of instrument joined in. There were big bongos and small bongos, hand-held drums of all varieties, tambourines and maracas, too. And in the center of the circle, people were dancing in joyful frenzy to the rhythm. Older men and women, toddlers and all ages in between. It was pure, unspecified celebration...and it lasted for three hours.
The sun set, and fresh flowers were passed around, cradled in a tambourine, for us to put in our hair. Glow sticks came out as darkness fell, lighting the night with neon flashes of color. At one point, a pair of women dressed in belly dancing outfits, delighted the attendees/participants with their twirling and the distinctive ping-ping-pings of their finger cymbals. Muscle-sculpted surf boys showed off their hottest moves. Children and teens were beckoned into the fold.
A twenty-something guy and his girlfriend were each drumming next to us and, as my extraverted child rushed into the center to join the dancing crowd, I turned to them and asked, "This is wonderful...and wild! It happens EVERY WEEK?"
He grinned. "Yeah." Then he reached into his backpack and pulled out a small bongo. Offering it up to me, he said, "Wanna play an instrument?"
Who could help but say, "Sure..."?