Pole Dancing

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.”
–  Edwin Way Teale

In honor of the Beltane Fires, when marriage vows were temporarily suspended for a night of dancing and frolicking, I decided to intentionally bypass the greens for pizza, the cleaning for the beach, and a quiet evening on the couch for a night of live music.  Riley’s new band, “Keepers of the Sun,” performed last night.  I could not miss an opportunity to see such a truly amazing and talented group of young musicians.  I admit, I am a bit biased.

Last weekend, any thought of pizza or getting out of my sweats to go out for an evening of fun made me sick and nauseous.  This weekend, any thought of staying home on the couch in my sweats made me sick and nauseous.  I am still not 100%, it will be awhile before that happens, but compared to a few days ago, I feel like 150%. 

For those of you unfamiliar with The Beltane Fires, it is a pre-Christian Druid festival originating in the British Isles, a time when villagers brought forth their gods and goddesses within, celebrating Mother Earth in ways that would make my grandmother turn over in her grave.  The end of winter and the coming of summer; the half way point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, was celebrated with a wild night of “anything goes.”   Young virgins danced around hill-top bonfires till dawn, ending in a different kind of dance.  It is considered “the setting of a new fire” and is a time of rebirth, fertility, growth, warmth, light and change. 

Today, I am halfway through my chemo.  Three down, three to go.  It feels so good to have come this far.  And perfect timing too, spring.  The coming of spring always brings new excitement to my life.  I feel this way every year when the weather warms up and I drive carpool in daylight.  I get out my shorts and sun dresses in preparation for long days at the beach, barbecues and corn on the cob.  Like the Beltane Fires, I feel a fire burning inside me, ready for re-birth, growth, healing and change.  This fiery flame brings forth the goddess within, yearning to dance around the Beltane fires, the Maypole or any pole for that matter.

It’s impossible for me to think of Beltane without the Maypole.  By the Middle Ages, every English village had its own Maypole.   They were made from the local trees and were of all shapes and sizes.  They would erect these poles every year on May 1st for the annual Maypole dance.  One village would vie with another to show who could construct the tallest Maypole.  Will it ever change?

Maggie’s school celebrated the coming of spring with their own Maypole this week.  Each class took turns dancing round and round, weaving colorful ribbons to folk dance and music.  They wore white mesh dresses and shirts and adorned their hair with handmade garland wreaths covered with fresh spring flowers.  Yes, it’s a hippy school.  Are you surprised?  Anyway, I cried.  Everything makes me cry these days, especially something as sweet, beautiful, and ancient as dancing around the Maypole. 


Life sometimes feels like winter, bleak, cold, and unending.  That is how I felt last week.  But spring brings new hope.   I can see the signs of a new season everywhere this weekend.  Endless blue skies, spring flowers, bikinis, board shorts, and surf boards on car roof tops.   

The promise of seasons is as sure as the promise of change.  Change is inevitable, perpetual.  It keeps us open to new opportunities and these opportunities provide personal growth.   If we are not growing, we are not really living.  As Bruce Barton, American author and politician says, “When you are through changing, you are through.”

Well, I am not through yet, quite the contrary. Chemo and surgery have given me a new lease on life.  There was a time that I would not have had this second chance.  Today, I am one of many that will kick cancer in the ass and go on to live a long and rewarding life.  I am truly grateful and plan to use my new lease in amazing positive life affirming ways.  Unfortunately, the Beltane Fire festival is far and few between these days.  But the good news is that everyone has the ability to create their own fire.  And that is exactly what I intend to do.  So if you see smoke billowing from my windows when you drive by, you will know what I am up to.

6 Responses to “Pole Dancing”

  1. John Alvarado Says:

    Congratulations on the halfway point! Good luck for the second half.

  2. Sonia Fernandez Says:

    Congrats!!! It was very nice chatting with you yesterday and thank you for sharing your story with us!! Maggie is an extraordinary young lady and she’s a testament to you and the beautiful living example you are to her! You certainly are worthy of tremendous respect and admiration…you definitely have mine!

  3. Tian Says:

    Congratulations Deanne! Keep it up!

  4. Tina Says:

    haha Typos!

  5. Cyndi Says:

    As goes the seasons, the fire within diminishes slightly for a time and then it burns bright again. Your fire has always been very bright and the intensity ever increases. Fire it UP!

  6. terry Says:

    Hi Deanne, Just getting caught up n your blogs..Congrats on being halfway through your treatments! You are proof of what kicking cancers’s as is all about!! Keep up the great job..God Bless You always xoxoxo

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