www.marilynbrant.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beach Drumming

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..."?

11 comments:

L.A. Mitchell said...

That vacation sounds heavenly. So much fun. Cheers to you and uninterrupted writing time :)

Erin said...

The drum circle sounds fabulously fun. I wanna go!
As for school starting? Let's not talk about it...

Anonymous said...

aww, shucks, ma'am. :) See you in the morning, our brain freeze awaits! spj

Sandra Ferguson said...

What an absolutely cool vacation memory. So special for your son -- that's truly one of those things that he will tell his children about. Way to go, mom, for jumping into the fun.

Marilyn Brant said...

L.A.~I know the school year in TX already began. I think I can hear the type-type-typing of your keyboard from here :).

Oh, Erin! Sorry for the unreserved delight! When I was still teaching, I'd get so angry with those joyful-looking parents at the start of a school year...

SPJ~Soooooo much to talk about!!

Sandra~My son had a blast, it's true. My bongo playing was far from stellar, but I gotta admit, I had a great time, too :).

Robin said...

What a wonderful thing to experience! And you've painted such a vivid picture for me, I feel like I was there. Those kind of spontaneous moments really are the best.

My boys went back to school today. I'll miss them, but am glad to be getting back in front of my computer more regularly! I hope you had a great day today!

Pam said...

Did anybody offer you an odd cigarette, too? Maybe a fancy pipe looking thing with water in it?

Just Say No, Marilyn!

And, because I keep forgetting to say this, you looked fabulous in your RITA dress. You sure found a great one! :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin~Thanks! And, yes, the day was LOVELY!! I think all of us writer-moms are esp. grateful for those extra snatches of time. Hope you had a great day, too :).

Pam~LOL!! Believe me, it's not that this hadn't crossed my mind or my husband's. We glanced at each other more than once, expecting to catch sight of some plant-based mood enhancers--but I didn't detect so much as a whiff. Then again, I'm not sure what those surf boys were doing prior to the drumming thing. They did look awfully cheerful...

Sandra Ferguson said...

How was school for your little one today? Email me and let me know.

Also, stop by my website;
www.slferguson.net, click on My Links, then on author sites . . . I have a surprise for you.

Marilyn Brant said...

Sandra, I emailed you yesterday but, just in case that doesn't reach you, I just wanted to say THANKS!!! I love what you did on your site! Thank you for including me :).

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, Marilyn, that sounds FANTASTIC! I can practically feel the beat of drums in my chest and see the whirling of the dancers who were so caught up in the spontaneous music.