Thursday, March 21, 2013
I'm a puzzle piece in this jigsaw...
Stepping off the bus in Atlanta the sun greeted my shoulders with a warmth I haven't felt since...well let's just say a long time. When they set us loose, a couple of my friends and I decided we wanted to explore the city, and after walking along the sidewalks and gawking at the buildings, we brought our heads down and were greeted by Tops, one of the city tour guide horses, driven by a very exuberant man ready and willing to take us around town. How could we say no?! It was a completely different view looking at the buildings while riding a huge horse and on each side of you are cars looking up to see the obvious tourists. After the ride we began walking around some more and eventually ended up at the Olympic park where we sat down on the grass and watched the people enjoy the day around us. Well before we knew it a couple of gentlemen approached us and gave us roses. Why? Well why not? As we were taking pictures with these nice young men, a little girl came running up to our group and asked for a rose; knowing that it would last a lot longer with her, I gave her mine, and she thanked me with a tackle and a hug, the smile on her face was priceless.
The next morning at Ebenezer Baptist church, a morning I will never forget, I was fortunate enough to witness the amazing service, which left me smiling for the rest of the day. What I took out of that experience was that you never know somebody's story, no matter how much you think you might. This is a powerful thing to remember because everyone has their own story, and before you decide to judge them whether it's based off their looks or what have you, you need to take the time to step back and realize everyone has their own story.
Leaving Atlanta was bitter-sweet, but hopefully I will be returning again (fingers crossed!)...and I just wanted to say that the wonderful ladies who worked the morning breakfast spoiled us with their wonderful Southern hospitality!
My next favorite spot, and one that left the biggest impression on me so far, was Selma, Alabama. It was wonderful to meet Joanne Bland, but what really got to me was the city tour that we took...I didn't know that it was still such a heavily segregated town. It is so sad to think that some people still have the mentality that they are superior and must oppress others...when it is the year 2013.... At the slavery reenactment I was chosen to scream at the "slaves" as they prepared to walk into the gut of the ship. The most powerful an emotional part for me was at the end, when we were no longer slaves, and we were outside again, and we declared our love and respect for ourselves and others. It is impossible to loves others if you do not love yourself.However, my most favorite part, hands down, no doubt about it was getting to see everyone come together and watch/listen to RATCO perform. It was a very emotional night for me, a roller coaster of emotions...but through it all I walked out of that church so inspired that there is no way I won't be keeping in touch with that organization!
Tomorrow we get to walk the bridge, a very very very historical landmark, and as Ms. Bland had said to do, I must remember that I am a puzzle piece in this jigsaw puzzle and I need to think where do I belong? And is the puzzle almost finished?
Well hopefully I'll have those answers after tomorrow's walk!