Monday, August 30, 2010

Relay for Life

Originally posted on What I'm Thinking Today July 5, 2010

I love my town! I recently moved to Ypsilanti MI and will write more about my great city in the future. I live near a park where a lot of local events are held so we get to listen to the music all summer. A few weeks ago, the Relay for Life came to the park. I love this event! If your life hasn't been touched by cancer in some way, you're very fortunate. This is a beautiful fund-raiser that is very community-based. There was such great music and such a wonderful energy in the park that day! I watched them into the night, battling fatigue and mosquitoes, walking still when I went to sleep. I was very moved and went inside and wrote this poem:

Just Before Midnight

Amid the sound of a soulful night bird
and the scent of a damp, happy willow
across the sound of the Huron gliding by
I watch

On a path encircling the park
surrounded by candles
they walk

They walk for their family,
their friends, themselves
for memory and the chance of anticipation,
for dreams cut short and those made possible

The path beneath their feet,
on any other day like any other path
is, for this time, a sacred space of healing and unity
it's a circle of community
of shared grief and triumph
of support and understanding
of true empathy

This walk is for warriors
these are people who live life up-close
and with eyes wide open
because they know how fleeting a gift this is
and how graciously given

These are warriors of grace and vulnerability
who know what it means to love ferociously
the strength that takes, and that which it gives
They have come here through moments
of intense contemplation, through new
rearranged priorities, with changed
worldviews, and open hearts

They bring colorful tents and coolers
are served midnight pizza
have music to move them along
but my favorite is the laughter-
that audible evidence of joy
shared one to another

These warriors come here as
humanity at its best
they come to do for others
to raise awareness and give voice to the silent
to celebrate life, having learned what that really means

They come with faith in themselves
and in one another
because they know they can make a difference
and they do.

*Added 6/16/10- If you know anyone who takes part in the Relay for Life, please feel free to copy this poem and share it with them. It's a small thank you from me to everyone who participates in this great event.

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