Sitting with thoughts dancing in my mind about all the hope that I had recently seen rise in Cairo, I looked online for an image to match how I felt inside and a picture of a rich yellow sun rising or setting in a reddish orange sky caught the attention of my eyes and I literally found myself mesmerized by its beauty.
The picture was called “Dancing with the Sun” and with the imprints in my memory of thousands upon thousands of Egyptians taking to the streets, many of them young 20 and 30 year olds, hardly blinking an eye, keeping their sights on a prize they desperately wanted to realize, the reality of living free, a quest with which I can identify – well, the sheer energy of the scene, made this old Sonoran want to jump with joy like a hep cat at the Savoy and dance with that magnificent sun. As a metaphor for living in an atmosphere of liberty with dignity, wouldn’t everyone?
Oh, the deja vu of such splendor, young folks like those of my generation, hitting the streets back in the 60’s, seeking validation in the Milky Way, singing “Oh, Freedom” and “We Shall Overcome,” our fists raised, signifying Power to the People, up on our feet literally dancing under the sun, echoing James Brown’s “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.”
These seekers of freedom, descendants of the era of Pharaohs, said “No more” to Mubarak. We, who, came from slaves, said goodbye to Jim Crow. They fended off tear gas and rubber bullets and hordes of thugs who created chaos from atop camels and horses and they unflinchingly and unyieldingly moved on, resisting man’s natural inclination to strike back. We stood up to the likes of Bull Connor and his vicious dogs and fire hoses, letting our bodies go limp, as did they, rather than meet force with force. They, like us, are disciples of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. They continually talked to and encouraged each other and chanted and sang, as we did, in their quest to hear the lovely tones of freedom ringing. We, them and us, cling to and believe in the tenets of our mutual heroes’ great “dreams.”
But those who struggle for what is just always welcome new blood in their scheme of things. And right now our country’s twenty and thirty year olds have a wonderful opportunity to, having, since birth, lived free in a democracy, help our Egyptian friends, who have put it on the line for all the world to see, build on what they have set into motion in their country because their work is no where near done. Their dance with the sun has only just begun.
In their struggle for freedom, they need everyone they can find to reach out to the world with them, in a spirit of love, in the belief that justice and liberty for all the planet’s citizenry can be won, leaving a legacy of activism and hope that might inspire some yet to be generation to consider, perhaps, that all who live and breathe can dance with the sun.
Anyway, thoughts of hope insist on dancing in my mind, mesmerizing me in a manner equal to the beauty inherent in the picture of the brilliantly colorful sun and sky that captured my attention and gave depth to my idealistic imaginings in the first place.
Someone once said to a dreamer: When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you.
Could it be said also ever so innocently: When you dance with the sun, in a spirit of bringing freedom to everyone, the world you desire will come to you?
I suspect we won’t know unless we set about making such a notion come true. The sun can hardly wait.
Photo Courtesy of actillavibes on flickr