Adriana: Drumming in Denver—Listening to the Heartbeat of Community in Action
Confluence Park one Sunday evening to participate in the drumming circle and the fire dancing.
We packed my djembe (a small African drum) and dressed in our most earthy outfits to fit in
with the regular Sunday night clientele. Mikelle and I had to dress up, but Kari fit right in with
her home-spun dress and wrist warmers.
Mikelle was thrilled to be out so late at night with so many people, dogs, kids, and
activity bustling around the cement platform where the fire-dancers performed.
The beat of the drums filled the cool air, and the river rushed in front of us competing with the
Mikelle laughed with glee at the acrobatics of the dancers, and the drummers’ energy
infused us all with enthusiasm. Her delight caught the eye of those who walked past her eliciting
their response to her happiness.
“How ya doin’ sunshine?” A young man with a huge beard asks her. She flashes him her
150- watt smile and motions to his dog.
“Want to pet him sweetheart?” Mikelle responds yes, and he lifts his little Chihuahua to
lick her fingers. Mikelle giggles; they talk for a few seconds more, and then he’s off in the night.
That’s how it is with Mikelle. She can open herself up to any person, at any time. She’s a
magnet to friendly people, making connections where ever she goes.
It is so important for Mikelle to get out and enjoy her city; Denver had so much to offer.
Like everyone she becomes bored with the mundane, with the everyday routine. It’s easy for
us (her friends) to forget to go with her to new places and help get out her out of her comfort
zone. It’s easy to meet at her favorite coffee joint, but I know that she enjoys the change of
scenery. So next time she wants to go to a coffee shop I’m going to suggest the strip club up the