1,2,3,4 they counted silently, hands joined, arms in deep embrace, as they glided across the dance floor. It was like watching a scene out of a fairy tale, their eyes only seeing each other despite the crowded barroom. As the accordion player and guitar player played their favorite tunes, they soared in each others arms.
I was a little kid back then, but as I watched in awe as my grandparents danced together, it made me realize the love they had for one another. The box step is a popular two step here in Newfoundland, and only the best dancers got the attention of the busy crowd. My grandparents, my grandfather mainly, was one of the best in the area. They made it look so easy, it was as if their bodies were one, each knowing exactly the next move the other was taking, never missing a step.
You could see how hard it was when the greenhorns tried the dance. A few of them thought they could show up the older folks, but were quickly shamed when their inexperience showed. I remember my grandfather taking the girl, my grandmother helping the guy, and the four of them danced together in a lesson that lasted throughout the ages. My dad was the guy, and he had just learned how to dance, taught by his loving mother. His dance partner was my mom, and my grandfather lovingly showed her how to follow his footsteps.
Mom still recalls that night, which was actually a wedding for one of my aunts. I was so young that I vaguely remember it, but I never forgot the dance. Mom also said that while the dance lesson went on, my grandfather gave her some sound advice, perhaps the reason why mom and dad managed to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year. He told her that when you love each other, the steps come naturally, and as long as you hold each other close, everything else will fall into place. What a romantic my grandfather was!
My grandparents danced their way through 71 years of wedded bliss, raising eleven children throughout hard times, a depression, a war, a stock market crash, and many other trials and tribulations, and not once did they ever doubt their love for each other. The lesson taught by my grandparents must have been a good one, I see the same look in the eyes of my parents.