Life is a Dance

There’s a lot being said lately about the end of the world as we know it.  We all feel it – from the economy to the Antarctic, a world on the edge of meltdown.

It’s almost reassuring to flirt with the idea that the Mayans might be right about The End.  How good would that be?  No Christmas, no New Year’s resolutions to be broken, no more difficult life changing decisions to be made.  Most importantly, no more fear, uncertainty or guilt.

I wonder.  What is it about doomsday prophecies that find us a little unhinged?

Near where I live, there’s a place I like to go and walk.  In many ways, it’s an unremarkable beach in what was once a working class village on the ‘wrong’ side of town.

But at a certain spot, it’s possible to pause and look across the bay, and imagine you are standing on the edge of the world.

No people in sight.

Altona Panorama

It’s like your brain opens up, and all of a sudden, you can breathe again.

In those moments, when it’s all stripped back and there’s nothing but you and the swans who’ve come to nurse their young, you remember.

This tired earth on which we stand – it all comes back to her.

Earth.  Water.  Fire.  Air.

In the flurry of our busy, elaborate lives, sometimes we forget how much we are in need of her.

Need is not a word we like to use.  It connotes weakness.  Dependency.  Responsibility.  It frightens us.

It means there’s a chance we could get hurt.

But it’s also the moment when we acknowledge we can no longer take her for granted.

When we see we have a role to play.

When change and renewal can begin.


Doomsday prophecies offer freedom.  But they also suggest things may be out of balance, and perhaps we are to blame.  In the words of Buffy’s sister, Dawn…

“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

– (Once More with Feeling, 2001).

As we approach holiday season, and if life as we know it doesn’t end on 21 December, this is the perfect time to begin anew.

To remember the loved ones whom we take for granted.

To breathe in the air, and thank the earth for what she gives.

To see ourselves as one among the elements.  And remember our steps in this dance we call Life.

Do you have any plans to get away this Christmas?  What will you be doing to recharge?


  1. says

    Great post…this is an unsettling time. So often, we are busy scrambling through our lives, with little time to really feel the implications of all we have done to the earth, and what it means for the future of our children on this planet. I am looking forward to down time with my family; to hang out doing a lot of nothing together; and hoping that we will have enough snow this year to do some cross-country skiing. Kim

  2. says

    Beautiful post Alarna! This time of the year should be taken to reflect on the things that are happening in our lives and, as you said, appreciate the people around us. There is so much happiness surrounding this period of the year; but, for some people, a lot of sadness too. This time of the year is a reminder that life is so precious.

  3. Manu Kurup says

    Nice post, Alarna. May be the Mayan priests were simply predicting the darker times ahead which could potentially end the world and we just assumed ‘natural’ destruction. I have a belief that if the world ever ends, we would be responsible for it not some overdue volcano-under-the park or tidal waves or a rogue meteor.
    I will be going away for Christmas and visiting my family as I couldn’t do it for a long time. That itself would be a recharge but I will stock up more energy through a mini-trip with friends back home.
    Wishing you and your family all the happiness and peace for this Christmas. 🙂

    • says

      Your Christmas sounds wonderful, Manu!

      You could be right about the Mayan priests, too. Whether directly or indirectly, we seem pretty good at bringing destruction on ourselves…no help needed.

      Have a great holiday, and many happy returns for the season 🙂

  4. says

    Good thoughts on the dance, though might there be more than just the insulated isolation of our busy lives as a barrier to listening to Earth’s many problems.

    Living here in the fringe of the tropics, day tripping is a fun pastime for the holidays, with the highlands out the back, and the Coral Sea to the front, with many a place cast along some dusty road in between. Plenty of places to relax with a book.

  5. says

    For me, this is a tougher holiday season than most. While I always have been a minimalist, I still feel overwhelmed with Life. Hopefully I can find a way in 2013 to breathe a little bit more often. 🙂

    • says

      Kate, I’m certain you are not alone. This year is a challenging time for many people – even harder when change is forced on you by circumstance. Hope things ease for you in 2013. *hugs*

  6. says

    “And remember our steps in this dance we call Life.” – 🙂 hello, Alarna… i should learn how to dance – literally and figuratively, ahaha. hey, thanks for the visit and the message. Happy Yuletide season to you. keep well 🙂

  7. Coleen Patrick says

    I’m staying home– a “staycation.” 🙂 Just want to relax and be ready for the opportunities in the new year. Lovely post Alarna. Wishing you a peaceful, happy season!

  8. says

    I’m just holing in with my family. We’ll have fires in our fireplace and eat stews. So not getting away from anything but the outside world for a little while. Happy Solstice to you, Alarna.

  9. Deliberately Delicious says

    Sometimes just reading your blog calms me and reminds me what is most important. I’m spending a couple of days away now, visiting the wild west coast of Vancouver Island in storm season, but the holidays will be quiet, with time for games with my boys and visits with our friends. It’s what I like best about Christmas.

    • says

      Wow, lovely. Hope the storms stay away for you. I’m amazed how many people are keeping cozy with the family over Christmas. It’s wonderful. Maybe that’s the difference between northern and southern hemisphere? In Australia, everyone is eager to get away and make the most of the sun 🙂

  10. says

    Very well said. 🙂 I just wish everyone thinks the way you do. 🙂 Have a happ Cristmas and no way it’d gonna be the end of the world on 21. My birthday is nearing. >.< wanna celebrate it still

  11. says

    Beautiful thoughts Alarna. Im going away to Byron Bay for 2 weeks; Im going to completely relax, go for walks & do yoga on the beach, try and fit in a horse ride or two, drink margaritas & have BBQs. I am looking forward to it so much after such a busy year.
    I hope you have a wonderful break too xx

    • says

      Oh! I’ll have to admit to being a little envious of that holiday itinerary… Perfect way to end a year, and start another. I plan to be away locally with friends, a little camping… see what happens. Have a great recharge 🙂

  12. lynnkelleyauthor says

    Whew! We made it through doomsday in one piece! Yay! Sleep helps me recharge! Plus good food, lots of laughs with family, and hugs and kisses from the wee ones! I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas Day today. Cheers to a healthy, prosperous New Year, Alarna!

    • says

      Thank you so much Lynn! I’m on my way back to say hi to everyone – I hope you had a great time with the family, and that 2013 is treating you well 🙂 See you soon in your world!

  13. says

    My oh my this is wonderful! I love it because it’s true– even though it seems kind of sad that we actually want the world to end so all our problems vanish, the way you actually addressed it and made us aware of it rather than us thinking of it in the comfort of our minds, is beautiful 🙂

    • says

      Oh Bena, how lovely to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kinds appreciation of my reflective mood 🙂 I hope the new year finds you well, and wish you much peace and happiness ahead. xo

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