I heard therapist Esther Perel say in a podcast recently that living in the moment is only feasible when there is a door open to leave that moment if you wish. However, that door was closed countless times during the pandemic which left us sitting in uncertainty and sometimes despair. When would things return to what we remembered as normal? Would that ever happen?

Then, a glimmer of hope. My youngest had continued Irish dancing when the world closed down, watching classes online and dancing on a strip of plywood. The borders were closed, and Canadian dancers could not attend the North American Irish Dance Championships in the United States.  So, for the first time ever, a Canadian National Irish Dance Championship was planned, and my daughter could attend.

This opened that door again and allowed us to venture back out into the world. We dusted off suitcases and passports and headed for the mountains.

Dancers coast to coast descended on Calgary and flew across the dance floor, with the eyes of six international judges watching. Some qualified for Worlds, some got a medal, some earned their personal best and some danced better than they ever had before.

But what we will remember most is that someone decided that anything is possible. And we all joined in for the ride.

Besides the dancing, this gave us the chance to see lush, green snow-topped mountains touching the clouds and lakes so blue they seemed otherworldly.

As polymath John Lubbock said, “Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than what we could learn from books.”

And what lessons we learned.

We got lost in the adventure and we found ourselves again. Then we flew home with full hearts and enough hope to get us through.