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What a Marvelous Night for a Moondance

 

Last night Husband and I attended a wonderfully fun bash at one of the beach clubs along northern Scheveningen beach.

The multi-talented Jo Parfitt and her equally multi-talented partner in crime (and life) Ian were celebrating a joint milestone birthday.

I’m told it was something along the lines of  their 30th birthdays. (Work with me here.) Entirely plausible given how the glowing Jo youthfully danced up a storm as Ian played a mean guitar throughout the evening.

The featured band, Resevoir Dogs, was fabulous. Had people on the dance floor within seconds, and kept it full for the duration.

It was an evening without compare to celebrate, with a custom-ordered sunset on the beach straight out of the movies followed by the thinnest sliver of silver crescent moon dangling seductively above the North Sea.

Family and friends had traveled from near and far to attend. They arrived from out of town and out of country. 

College flat-mate Jon came by Harley via ferry from England; another 30 folks had made their way to Nederland as well.

The ‘local’ contingent was chock full of people with whom many of us were finally able to put faces to names.

Ian’s squash partners mingled with Jo’s writing protegees, creative types with business colleagues, authors with musicians.

Standing on the club deck sipping favored beverages. Enjoying delicious nibbles while chatting up friends old, newer and instant. Swaying to music that led you to the dance floor. Taking in the vista of sun, sea and sand as the light breeze came off the North Sea.

In a word, perfect.

I glanced across the crowd and spotted Carrie Sanderson, someone I’d met once through Jo and with whom I keep up on Twitter as she currently lives and runs her business Health & Healing in Bristol, UK.

I smiled and started to wave when I suddenly realized that Twitter-world and real-world had collided and we were both here. The casual wave gave way to a dash across the deck for a big hug and much catching up throughout the evening.

Author, songwriter, chanteuse and friend Niamh Ni Bhroin sang a song or two with the band early in the evening, and then helped bring down the house with a raucously joyous rendition of The Weather Girls’ ‘It’s Raining Men’.

Dancing to that song with my friends, just as I have danced to it for many years with other friends in different places, brought back a rush of memories, a touch of nostalgia and deep, deep joy.

But the highlight of a marvelous evening was spending time with my Writers’ Group friends. We were all there except one, our talented poet with a lovely eye and discerning ear for descriptive prose, whose presence was greatly missed.

Including my dear wordgeyser and expatcalidocious, these are witty, warm, wonderful women.

Talented and caring, sharp and insightful, giving and funny, these are the kind of people you want on your side, in good times and not-so-good times.

They’ve got your back.

They’re honest with their praise and constructive criticism, and generous with their hearts.

We share our thoughts, our secrets, our writing. We bare our souls to each other.

The waters run deep, and you know, really know, that you can trust them.

Last night was an opportunity for us to finally introduce each other to our respective spouses, including one who startled us by returning from Qatar where they will move later this summer. (He didn’t surprise his wife, just the rest of us, earning the nickname ‘Oh!!’ when introduced.)

As everyone exchanged greetings, the night air was filled with cries of ‘Oh you’re fill-in-the-blank!’ ‘Were you the one who wrote…?’ ‘Now who is it that wrote…?’ and ‘Finally I get to meet the merry band!’ 

The end of the night found us back outside on the deck: the men in chairs or standing around the cocktail table, the five of us women huddled together on the banquette to ward off the chilly North Sea wind.

We laughed and conversed, at turns serious and light-hearted, words tumbling out. The men chatted as well, but mostly watched as they witnessed their wives relaxed, smiling, happy, in their element. 

For one night, all the cares, pressures, ‘to do’ lists and upcoming move by one among us fell by the wayside. We all giggled when one spouse wryly observed, ‘For writers they sure do talk a lot.’

We were together; we were with our tribe.

What a marvelous night for a moondance indeed.

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