Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On Olympics and Hope

They get me every time.
Something about the Olympics make me believe.
And dream.
And hope.

We let the kids stay up late to watch Ice Dancing.
Never mind that my husband would rather be tortured by a period British drama.
Even still, we all sat and watched couples flow across the ice.
Melding with the music and each other.
Footwork, lines and lifts that I can't technically evaluate, 
yet I know beauty when I see it.

I sat flanked by children.
Snuggled close to me as we stared at the TV in the dark.
They weren't particularly quiet.
I wasn't always particularly patient.
But nevertheless it was a moment.

I never intend for this world stage to make family memories
but it does somehow.
Ever since our oldest could understand the idea of sport
and competition and winning and national pride.
Every two years, we find ourselves fixated 
on the two weeks of nightly events 
shown to world through the lens of NBC.
Artistry in motion.
Athleticism at it's best.
Teamwork shining.
Patriotism swirling.
Goosebumps forming.

And every time I think I can walk away unaffected by what I've seen, 
but I am wrong.
When you stare excellence in the face, it's hard to remain stoic.
Even the observer of greatness can not help but be impacted, 
even if it's from the other side of a high-def screen.
A marginal spectator separated by continents
becomes a part of the unfolding story
of these Olympians,
their stories and struggles,
their perseverance and determination.

We watched the Americans win gold in Ice Dancing, 
and then shuffled up the stairs to tuck in tired children.
I kissed the blond head of my little boy,
and I wondered what God has in store for him.
Odds are it probably won't be Olympic gold, 
especially since he would rather stay home than do just about anything.
Except maybe go to the toy store.
But even if his future isn't doused with medals, 
I can't wait to see it unfold.
Entering into the stories of athletes across the globe
has reminded me of the joy of life.
The fullness of life.
The goodness therein.
The hope of tomorrow.

Tonight I was reminded of the value of dreaming.
Big, audacious dreams.
Crazy, spectacular dreams.
Dreams that could find you labeled loony.
After all, someone has to win that gold medal, 
or get that book published, 
or sign that recording contract, 
or invent the next cure.
And it might even be a slumbering child
nestled in Sonic sheets.

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