I’ve always admired people who love to dance. Yesterday afternoon I attended a dance recital which featured my daughter and other dancers. As I watched her, I smiled with a wide grin, cheering her on in my seat. She twirled her hands in a circular motion and her feet moved back and forth in rhythm. Her arms reached up and the expression on her face exuded happiness. Although over seventy people sat in the audience, my daughter didn’t hesitate in her movements. She enjoyed every single movement: the twirls, the arms twisting, and her torso leading the way to the next move.

I caught myself admiring her new-found discovery of dancing. With the music in the background, I observed her connecting with the song and embracing an unstructured world. There was a certain careless freedom that accompanied her movements. She immersed herself in performing and later confessed that she loved dancing and wasn’t nervous about the people in the audience. As I admired her freedom, I wondered the last time when I felt completely free. I really can’t remember a time where I wasn’t constantly thinking of deadlines, responsibilities, and moving toward the next item on my to do list.

Often times, my daughter reminds me what is important. To stop and relish in the freedom. Perhaps even move my limbs in the middle of the day, learning to piece together a dance move or just losing myself in the music. I know the feeling. It is universal. The experience of driving your car with your favorite song on the radio. You don’t care who is listening to you. You sing loud, while the windows are down. A special kind of freedom exists and no explanation is really required. As we get older, we forget. Or perhaps we take it for granted.

It is a feeling I had forgotten, but yesterday a six-year-old reminded me what really matters. The sweet essence of freedom.