Today my Canadian friend Logan (aka Little Bit) said goodbye to Rwanda and began her journey back to her hometown. I knew this day was coming but I was still sad as the hours approached. In honor of Logan I finally said yes to a night out past 9pm. On Saturday we sipped drinks at our house and then climbed in a cab to Car Wash, a local bar. It felt great to sit outside under the open sky and enjoy the company of friends. I looked around at all the faces surrounding me and smiled. A chill of sadness at my approaching departure swept through me, but I moved back into the moment and was filled with sense of calm.
Under the Rwandan sky I had sat just days earlier during a rare nighttime blackout. The stars so often hidden came out in numbers to play. Trusty Orion with his three starred belt was front and center, but I was sad to discover the rest of the patterns of light were unrecognizable to me. Where was the Big Dipper? I made a note to brush up on my Astronomy and then looked up again. My eyes soft, I limited my vision to the dark arch above and had such a visceral realization of how small I am. Like the stars above I am a speck of light. I am the tiniest part of the universe and yet contain the whole universe inside me. It humbled me to see the big picture, to remember I live on a spinning world floating in space. It is a world that lived before me and will continue on long after I am gone. And though my life in this incarnation is short, my actions ripple across continents in ways unknown and my body will do the same.
So, though Logan is in Canada now, at one time we danced at New Cadillac Club in Rwanda. Lights flashed and beats bumped like in any club. I stood outside the crowd and remembered dancing in Spain, in Boston, in India. I laughed to myself thinking about how recognizable the scene was before me. People are dancing in London and New York too. A girl is turning towards her girlfriend to avoid a predatory dancer. Someone is spilling a beer. The songs may be different but the desire is as universal as the stars we share, to let loose and be as big in our movements as we feel in our hearts. To break barriers.
I danced with Africa on Saturday and I cheered with Africa three days later as we watched Obama take his oath. All across the world young and old were hanging on to every word, investing hope and faith in a man who has already broken so many barriers. Though we live in different countries, our desires are the same, to have peace and safety, access to food and shelter, freedom to speak and worship as our soul commands. We dream of a president who isn’t afraid to dance.