Birds flock. Cattle herd. Bees swarm. Whales school. All creatures seem to do it. But none more so than people.
People gather in groups for many reasons...weddings, funerals, graduations, anniversaries. These all tend to be family oriented functions. Story telling time -the good kind and the bad, and the nothing good happens after midnight kind.

People also come together for other, less celebratory functions...protests, marches for a cause, anti this, pro that. These tend to be political in nature. Wars lost and won. That sort of thing.

Once in awhile they gather to share a cultivated interest with others, be it music, art, dance, literature, nature, science. These tend to be primarily educational gatherings. All kinds of things taught and learned.

And every two years, they gather to share a collective dream - to celebrate mankind's quest for perfection -to be the fastest, fleetest, biggest, strongest - to be the best athelete in the world.

These tend to be Olympian gatherings. But since the first gatherings in ancient Greece, in the town of Marathon, this celebration of the runner has morphed into a celebration of spirit.

Last night in my town, you could catch that dream in the eyes of children as they jostled for position so they could catch a glimpse of the Olympic Flame. You could hear it in the cheers, whoops and whistles as the dancers flew across the stage to the fastest fiddle music in the world.

You could see it in the smile on the face of our Special Olympian, who was chosen to carry the flame the last 300 metres up to the waiting cauldron. And that smile took over his entire face as the flame caught and leapt upwards to the sky.

The crowd roared their delight, and burst into spontaneous singing of
our national anthem, O Canada.
For one very special night, people gathered together en masse to share a dream, catch the spirit, and believe that anything is possible. Even if just for one  night...one special night.

Pure. Real. Magic.


robin andrea said...

Must have been so wonderful to be part of something so high-spirited and uplifting. I would think it's a special treat to see that torch. A long and truly ancient history.

BTW-- Thank you so much for your delightful comment on Dharma Bums about the weather. We appreciated it immensely.

Lorac said...

How absolutely wonderful. It is coming through Georgetown on the 19th and I can't wait!

Susan said...

Thanks Lorac and Robin..it was one of the most moving community events we've ever hosted! good luck with yours and your weather..we hovered at 0 and no wind...a perfect winter night to welcome the flame.(see Robin? -talkin' bout the weather again!;>)

Kilauea Poetry said...

So you hosted this huh? I really enjoyed your post and all these pictures. Your writing is rather captivating. Your birds..I actually took a better look. What a charming read! I think I identify! Beautiful-

A human kind of human said...

In just a couple of months time SA will be hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup and I so wish that the same unified spirit prevailed here. Unfortunately there are many South Africans that are completely against this event because of many reasons, mostly stupid reasons. However I will go on believing in and dreaming of a united SA, even though I realise this will probably not happen in my generation.