Memories are made of this

We are all exhausted today. Yesterday was one of those sepia days. Our friend D carried the Olympic flame for 350 metres. 50 supporters chanted his name as the previous torch ‘kissed’ his and the flame was in his care for what must have been three minutes, maybe four before he passed it on to the next worthy soul.

It was long enough though. Long enough to lift the dreams, prayers and hopes of a whole community into the Olympics and beyond. To be honest, I’m not that interested in athletics. If it were only about sport, I probably wouldn’t bother. I might switch on the telly from time to time, or glance at the back pages, or maybe get really excited about something on the car radio, but not enough to listen to the end if I arrive at my destination before the race is over.

But yesterday was something else. Carrying the torch is nothing to do with sponsors or organisers or buildings. This is the bit that belongs to the people. Lots of little communities adding together to make a big one. D had his photo taken more times than a Hello-magazine bride. Everyone wanted a piece of him. We had one of those good old fashioned parties with buckets of drink, troughs of food and all kinds of people mixing together and having a fabulous time. There were people from beavers, cubs, scouts, from church, from work, family, friends, neighbours, friends of friends, children of friends, ex-lovers of friends. There were as many smiling faces as there were people and I bet there are a few sore heads today!

I’ve had enough of the sponsors and doom-mongers. It isn’t about them anymore. It’s time to consign it all to the small print. From here on, it’s about dreams, about inspirational people like D. It’s about a community that’s been getting ready for this for seven years, finally making it happen. Bring it on!