Author Krista Tibbs

Unwitting Angels

In Being Human, Commentary, Spirit on May 14, 2009 at 4:04 am

I’ve been thinking lately about people who have been angels in my life, which I didn’t recognize at the time, and who probably didn’t even know it themselves. One that comes to mind frequently may seem silly; he was the first stranger to ever ask me to swing dance. I was just learning and was prepared to feel like an idiot, but he told me never to apologize because it’s the leader’s job to make me feel like a pro. By the end of the song I wanted nothing more than to be a good enough follower to come back and partner with any dancer in that club. So when he mentioned a place where there was a live band every Wednesday, I decided to go, even if I couldn’t get anyone to go with me. The first Wednesday, my angel was just leaving as my friend and I arrived. He said hello on his way out the door, and that was the last time I ever saw him. I had so much fun that night that I went back every week for more than a year and eventually also attended a number of weekend dances in the area, but there was nary another glimpse of him. It was like he had just appeared long enough to point me in the right direction.


Of course I know he was only a human being whose path crossed with mine at an opportune time, but what is an angel but a person who comes into your life for a reason? And silly as it might seem, I believe dancing was a big reason for who I am and where I am right now, through 10 years, 3 states, and a heartbreak.  It is what gave me confidence to go out alone rather than sit at home wishing for my friends to become interested in the same things as I am. Every time I was asked to dance that first year erased one more memory of Friday nights at the school gym standing by the wall, waiting and waiting for someone to ask. It was something fun I found in common with people in graduate school. It was the scene of the best date I’ve ever been on. And now, Mensa has become an important part of my social life, although I was a member for two years without having the nerve to go to even a single dinner function before I finally attended a thousands-large week-long world conference because the agenda included a dance every night and a live band at the final banquet.


Next month, I’ll be going to a wedding that I’m actually looking forward to – which is not the usual reaction for a single girl travelling halfway across the country without a date to spend a weekend surrounded by couples in marital and familial bliss — because there will be swing dance lessons and music for the reception.


I read a poem once that people come into your world for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I think those like my swing dancer who come for a reason are the easiest to spot as angels. Those who come for a season are the most painful, because they require letting go — but that is the topic for another post; I have already shared far too much today!

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