well-(movin')-ness week

If I had to do it all over again, would I give up my castle on a hill in Spring-a-ling Springfield for the bohemian rhapsody of work and live Exner Block in Bellows Falls? No. Although I imagine different scenarios driving past bright windows full of making-it-now art where I knock on my neighbor's door to find her covered in charcoal and spend my mornings dancing in the street, I find myself happy to return home to makeshift small-town suburbia this evening after a dancing adventure in BF.Mind you, the Bellows Falls grit is easy to pick out from the fingernails of children who grow up there. I find the comfort of my own struggling town in choppy haircuts and new names like 'Justus' and 'Angel.' I met every child at Bellows Falls Central Elementary, a K-4 school boxed between residential streets, which shares a playground with the town's YMCA. And I fell in love like only teachers who feel they know kids before they know kids really can.The school nurse, Anita, invited me in to dance with these young ones as part of their Wellness Week and I found myself rolling on the floor, sculpting little bodies, and pulling imaginary strings as I bonded with a new batch of kids in an unknown school. I keep waking up in these small schools: These kids are way less inhibited than I want to believe. I'm ready to talk down the emo-fourth grade boy who preaches dance equals gay in order to start his own mini-revolution and instead find this child showing me new ways to think about moving my elbow through space. I want to watch them grow up into dancers who know their bodies as capable and curious. I want to sit back and let them take over, to remind me how little I know of my form. I find myself craning my neck to see more, stepping on their toes in attempts to guide them, and getting lost in the possibility of limitless movement. But I wake up with so-and-so won't partner with so-and-so and to "I'm bored" becoming a fashion statement. Neither lasts long.Today I ate my lunch in the sunshine, hoping to burn slightly as I longingly crave the desert. It was quiet. This was my break from children so I read a little after I finished my salad. The fourth graders who started my day with go-go-go talking competitions ran outside to catch the sun too before their own lunch. One stringy-haired, skinny-legged blond child found herself enamoured with my leftover salad bits and I told her to indulge herself. It is this moment, when we talk about the dancing, our families, and school in general that I feel a dull ache deep in my chest... a reminder that this child, these children, this school, and this town aren't mine, but merely holding me as I visit.