Three dancing maidens

"Three Dancing Maidens"

Once upon a time there were three dancing maidens.  You wish to know their names?

The oldest maiden was called Time.

The second-oldest maiden was called Life.

And the third-oldest maiden was called Joy.

One maiden

Time arrived first to create the home for all the others who would arrive later.  She built the house, sewed curtains and swept the floor.

She provided a space, green trees, long meadows and bright sun.  She added clouds and rain showers, veins of earthen gold, and wind.  She wiped her hands on her apron and waited for her sister to arrive.

Another maiden

Life came next, and what a beauty!  Everywhere she walked, she created.  Out of her hands flew chattering birds, lumbering bear, diving seals.  Whatever she dreamed populated the beautiful space of Time. 

The two sisters surveyed the space and its creation and All was Well.  But something was missing.  The two sat on their doorstep, wondering.  They had everything one might dream.  This beautiful space teemed with everything Thought and Feeling and Desire wanted.  What was missing?

Yet another maiden

At that moment, the Third Sister arrived skipping toward the Time and Life, and the minute they saw her they knew Joy had arrived, and the trinity complete, and they grabbed hands and danced and circled and danced and water sprang up between them, flowing, endless, ever abundant.

If you look deeply in your own inner well, you too can glimpse Time, Life and Joy dancing in your heart, round and round, in a sacred triad. 

They dance with all the other trinities–Father, Son and Holy Ghost–Virgin, Mother, Crone–mind, body, spirit–child, Mother, Father–nature, being, divinity–Past, Present, Future.

One spiritual interpretation of the number three:   The spiritual meaning of number Three deals with magic, intuition, fecundity, and advantage. The number Three invokes expression, versatility, and pure joy of creativity. Three is also a time identifier as it represents Past, Present and Future. Consecutive Threes in your life may symbolize the need to express yourself creatively, or consider your present directional path in relation to past events and future goals. Three may also represent promising new adventures, and assurance of cooperation from others whom you may require help. Three typically symbolizes reward and success in most undertakings.

Another way of looking at the Three Dancing Maidens is this:  we have three parts of us.  One part of us desires to look outward upon the world, engage in the world, connect to others outside the self.  Another part of us longs to turn inward toward ourselves, realizing what is in the center of ourselves.  A third part moves toward transcendence, the divine, the sacred. 

The three are really One, dancing together.  Inward, outward, transcending.  Balance is the act of knowing where our awareness needs to move next on the spectrum, without clinging to a former inclination.

Contemplation and prayer at the Fountain of Life

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sow
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

Words-adapted from The Bible, Book of Ecclesiastes
Music-Pete Seeger

Follow the path where your heart leads

Follow your path, dear reader, where your deepest heart beckons.  Don’t be afraid to dive deep into the briar and woods and wilderness of yourself.  Time, Life and Joy are calling us, daily, hourly, with every minute, to discover all the hidden nooks and crannies and valleys and mountains of ourselves.
Dance, dear reader!  Never stop dancing!
(And I am in another quiet time now~~diving deep inside~~listening.  Will probably not be posting as many blogs for a while.)
P.S.  Photos come to you from the Conservancy at Central Park in New York City.  If you scroll down this page you can read more about the Untermyer Fountain (The Three Dancing Maidens Fountain.)   The story I told, however, was whispered in my ear by one of the maidens.  I’m not sure who narrated her version of the story, but I suspect it was Joy.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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46 Responses to Three dancing maidens

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    Oh the maidens and that conservatory are such beautiful glimpses! I, myself, have been tripping upon inclinations. Is a return, a good behavior pattern that helps me to be grounded and unified in all three parts? Or is it a clinging onto what is past, and I need to find new. This later thought creates a feeling of dis-ease, restless and full of anxiety. A need to move, but to what or away from what or back to what…So, I’m trying to do the next right thing and then listen to what my parts tell me about myself–like you said in the story, and then choose the next right thing, which might be to sit still and observe for a bit.

    • Kathy says:

      I know you shall choose the next right thing, Elisa. Even if it’s just sitting and waiting and listening for a while. Sometimes, we just need to separate out a bit from our swirling thoughts and inclinations. blessings!

  2. john says:

    So sweet … thank you.

  3. Central Park is such an amazing reprieve from the city. Wonderful blog..much to think about.

    • Kathy says:

      Such a beautiful expanse of green in the midst of so much humanity, Jane. I am glad the Three Dancing Maidens gave you much to think about.

  4. Susan D says:

    Lovely …

  5. Susan Derozier says:

    Oh Kathy – I want my path to take me to that green place you have shared and a long spot on that bench. The secrets those beautiful trees must whisper to all who pass through. Love your messages from the sisters and being the youngest of three sisters, I shall claim the heart of joy for this day. Thank you again!

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Susan D (I think one of you Susan D’s should be Susan D squared–to the second power–but don’t know how to type that on this keyboard, so you’re both spared! lol…) It was so interesting to be so bombarded by city energy, and then to find this wonderful expanse of quiet green and then to happen upon this magnificent statue which exuded such abandon and joy. Glad you liked it too. Glad it moved your heart…

      • Susan Derozier says:

        Kathy – I would be happy to be the Susan squared. At least I am sure my grandkids would agree on the “square” part. haha

  6. Oh man, oh man, oh man!

    This oh-so spoke to my heart. And just recently you said you couldn’t write much of a children’s book. You had me captivated with the title alone! This was just what the doctor ordered today Kathy — thank you!

    • Kathy says:

      Hey, Laurie, perhaps this is my new career–writing children’s books! smiling…or maybe writing to the child in each of us? Even the adults? In which case, would they still be called children’s books? Pondering…thank you to your heart.

  7. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I love this story. You and Joy work beautifully together!

    I’m appreciating your words “balance is the act of knowing where our awareness needs to go next……”

    And finding that it doesn’t have far to go at all, the “where” is always there, right in front of me, hidden in plain sight, until attention calls……

    Thank you for letting us all snuggle up to your light for a little while 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Your response is beautiful, Colleen. I particularly like “And finding that it doesn’t have far to go at all, the “where” is always there, right in front of me, hidden in plain sight, until attention calls……”

      It’s that simple.

      Thank you for calling attention to that.

  8. P.j. grath says:

    Oh, thank heaven you told us where the pictures were taken! The fountain reminded me of Cranbrook, and the path looked like something in Paris (except for the backdrop), and I couldn’t figure out where I was.

    • Kathy says:

      You are very welcome, Pamela. You must have been tiptoeing through my mind, because I almost didn’t tell. But then–it certainly doesn’t look like the UP does it? It was a beautiful place to linger for a short time. I wish Kiah and I had longer time to pause beneath those waters.

  9. Karma says:

    A gorgeous post in thoughts and pictures. The girls and I will be literally dancing LOTS this weekend – it is recital time! Enjoy your own explorations and blog about them for us when the spirit moves you.

    • Kathy says:

      I can just close my eyes and picture your dancing weekend, Karen. May the girls (and you!) dance beautifully and joyously. (I am already starting to feel rejuvenated. Not 100%, but gaining speed, perhaps.)

  10. sonali says:

    Lovvveeedddd the post!! Kathy, its such a beautiful story! I’m impressed. You rock the blog world!! The story of the three maidens flashed a wonderful feeling this morning that indeed its a soup for the heart. You made me feel the beauty of life & creation this morning. Thank you so much!!! 🙂 Do take care while you are quiet & listening, but, come back sooon!!!!

    • Kathy says:

      Awww, Sonali, you are SUCH a sweetheart! Thank you for your kind words. They fill my bloggin’ heart with a feeling of love and joy. The maidens must be dancing in your life, too, because I hear their music in your words.

  11. Martha Bergin says:

    I loved this one, Kathy! Really got me thinking!

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Martha. I liked it, too, because it got ME thinking–and feeling–too. I love it when statues and fountains channel stories. (smile…)

  12. Dawn says:

    Definitely told by Joy…which is you in every way. Enjoy your time…thanks for sharing much to think about. I have a big briar patch beckoning me and I’m afraid to go there.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, oh darn those briar patches. They can threaten Joy so much with their pokes and scratches and wild frenzy. How are we supposed to walk in them without getting injured even more? One thing I have learned–sort of–about walking through briar patches (this could be a blog in itself, and maybe already was?)–is to slow down. Slow way down and become aware of carefully placing each foot. Duck to avoid the briars, then rise high so they don’t slap you in the stomach. Let your heart lead you…not your mind. Then, eventually, you will emerge to a soft warm inviting meadow. Hugs.

  13. Reggie says:

    What a beautiful fountain! I love the close-ups of their faces, such exuberance! LOVED this post, Kathy…. you’re such a good storyteller.

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Reggie, thank you. Doesn’t the exuberance on their faces make you want to embrace it all with as much fullness as we can muster today? To not get lost and side-tracked into old reactions, but to be here, present, with a genuine response? that is my desire for today.

  14. Jeannie says:

    So wonderful to awaken to this! Snapping out of a trance, life touching life ~ forming a circle…no separation. The outstretched hand linking all of time into timelessness…

    • Kathy says:

      Jeannie, yes, I like how you say it feels like coming out of a trance into the feeling of this aliveness. Thank you for emailing that beautiful picture. I sat and breathed the feeling of it and felt your love. Blessings, in the circle of it~~

  15. sartenada says:

    Beautiful art. I love especially the first photo, because in it the movement is so nicely visible.

    • Kathy says:

      Sartenada, I think that first photo is my favorite too, although I like the feeling of the green path, as well. You can actually feel the twirling swirling energy, and it makes me feel like I’m dancing with the maidens. What incredible art is this sculpture!

  16. jeffstroud says:

    Beautifully created words and photographs! Thank you of the thoughtful balanced blog!

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, I think you would have enjoyed our walk in the Conservancy. You would have been taking at least one hundred shots, and I would have loved to see how your photos were presented. It was fun writing a blog like this. Glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Barbara says:

    Kathy, you are one of my favorite storytellers! It would be fun to be a kid again and to be tucked into bed with one of your tales at night – what sweet dreams we’d all have… The photographs of the dancing maidens are refreshing and the flourishing greenery on the path where hearts lead is lush and very sensuous – what an enchanting garden to cool off and dream in. Thanks so much!

    • Kathy says:

      Why, Barbara, thank you. I remember making up stories to tell the kids before bed~~and encouraging them to dream into their own imaginations, as well. When I came home from New York City, I felt such dreaming energy swirling all around. Now, it’s back to a little more everyday presence. I am always wondering what dreaming has to do with Presence. Do you have any thoughts on this?

      • Barbara says:

        Not a particularly original thought, but your question did cause the thoughts expressed in a quote to pop into my head…
        “We are not hypocrites in our sleep. The curb is taken off from our passions, and our imagination wanders at will. When awake, we check these rising thoughts, and fancy we have them not. In dreams, when we are off our guard they return securely and unbidden.”
        ~ William Hazlitt
        I’d have to agree that we are fully present in our dreams, which may be why we struggle to wake up from some of them when they start crossing into territory we don’t want to cover. And then there are the pleasant dreams which end way too soon and we wish we could recapture the place and mood somehow and feel the bliss of being our true selves for a little longer…

  18. Robin says:

    Wonderful soul-story, and I loved the photos that go with it. Thank you. 🙂

  19. Tracy says:

    Thank you for the reminder to “follow your path”! Love it. And the photos of the maidens were wonderful!!

    • Kathy says:

      I believe our path is what will bring us the most life, time and joy, Tracy. Hoping your path is filled with petals of spring flowers…

  20. sonali says:

    I dreamt of this post of yours Kathy! Read it once again word by word to determine what after all was it that pulled me back here. I think it was joy or may be time or perhaps life itself! Thank you once again for these beauties of your blog creation reside deep down somewhere….

    • Kathy says:

      Goodness, Sonali! I can’t believe you dreamed of this! I am thrilled that the three maidens appeared in your dreams to share their energies with you. May they continue to lead you through your precious life, prompting you which way to turn, around and around and around again.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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