The deer, turned golden by the evening light, moved through the field of purple lupine at the far side of the meadow.  It stopped and watched us dance, then returned to grazing.

If I were the sort to tell fish stories, in each recounting of this moment the deer would get closer, our circle wider, until I’d find myself saying “We danced with a deer!”  While I won’t let myself indulge in this exaggeration, it is what the moment felt like.

Moments like these matter.

Researchers quantify that we reap more benefit from exercising outside compared to the same exercise inside.  I’ve been inspired by research that found that we enjoy being outside even more than we anticipate.  Even when I’m the one initiating and leading dance outside, I am continually surprised by how deeply rewarding it is.

Dancing outside matters to me because it reminds me of my place in the greater wholeness.  In the dancing circle, our movements breathe and spiral in patterns that mirror the leaves and flowers around us.  With each step, with each cell in my body, I dance to merge myself with the world around me.

The more I practice, the larger I become.  Loss doesn’t threaten to overwhelm me.  I literally feel bigger than the challenges before me.

Do you ever notice that a part of you is ready to connect to something greater than yourself?  How would that benefit your life?

I am grateful for the generations of people around the world who gathered and danced outside as an integral part of life.  They have given us a tremendous gift and wisdom for finding peace and resilience. Let us have abundant opportunity to go outside and perplex many deer with our dancing.

This post was inspired by an evening of dance at Dodge Nature Center in West Saint Paul.  Join the circle July 10 and August 7, 2013 and see who and what will show up for us.  Come to one or both, pre-registration kindly requested.