The One Thing We Seek: To Be Alive

Chas Lyons
4 min readMar 30, 2022

Shall We Dance?

My daughter, married with a teenager and in midlife, stopped by a shop to have an auto mechanic change the filter in her Prius.

She waited while he checked out her car. He finally emerged to announce, “We have a real problem. We found two mice nests next to the filter. It’s going to cost $100 to change the filter and $300 to clean out the nests.”

The survivor of a life-threatening battle with cancer, she smiled, “That’s not a real problem” and left to think it over. The problems of life are quite relative, are they not?

She and her husband cleaned out the mice nests and bought and replaced the filter for $14.

A couple of days later they were returning from an event in the evening and decided to drop in on a father-daughter dance at the school where she teaches math to students, grades 6 to 8.

The music was playing and people were milling around, but there was nobody on the dance floor. One of her favorite songs was cued up by the DJ and impulsively she took to the dance floor and began to rock with all the moves timed to the music.

Suddenly, the students took to the dance floor and began to rock with her. The place was jumping…and there is this fun video to prove it.

A little girl dressed in this white princess dress stood on the outside of the group, watching. Suddenly, the group made an opening and she moved inside and began to twirl around and around and around.

Happiness filled the room.

Later, my daughter said it was one of her happiest moments.

I know that my daughter did not get the dancing gene from her dad. I always took to the dance floor at company parties with hesitation even for the “slow” ones. I can count on one hand the few times I cut loose to “Celebration” or “YMCA” (I know. That really dates me.)

Looking back on it, those few times of rocking were indeed happy moments and raises the question, what’s that about?

Coincidentally, a couple of nights passed and I was surfing movie titles and came across “Shall We Dance?”, starring Richard Gere and Jenifer Lopez.

Gere plays John Clark, a successful lawyer who is happily married with a daughter, but is meandering through life listlessly. One night on his way home from work he looks up at a second story window and…

Chas Lyons

Chas Lyons is a retired CEO and publisher of newspapers. He lives in Rhode Island where he enjoys writing, family, and escaping to a log cabin in Maine.