Thursday, September 13, 2007

Of Butterflies and Buses

At one level I do not see too much difference between waiting for one’s basic human rights to be granted and waiting for a bus. Both are made up of everyday moments which are no less precious for the fact that they must be lived in a state of limbo. Of course thankfully people are not required to wait for a bus for eight years (the length of time my American same-sex partner and I have been waiting for the right to live together in America as a bi-national couple) and if they were most of course would simply walk away from the bus stop and seek other means of transport to their destination. Or perhaps another destination.
There might be some however who, knowing only this bus could take them where they wanted to go, would defiantly stay the course and perhaps to begin with they would march in circles around the bus-stop waving banners that protested loudly their right to ride that particular bus to that particular place. Maybe some would stand upon the seat in the bus-stop and loudly address passers by , urging them to see the injustice they were facing.
In time these defiant ones, having stayed at the bus stop secure in the knowledge that one day their bus would come, might find that they were becoming very tired from walking in circles carrying flags and banners for years and that their voices were hoarse from crying out for their rights to a public who seemed barely to notice. Around that time they might begin to notice the intense colour of the blades of grass that pushed their way up from between cracks in the pavement. They may catch sight of the grace with which a butterfly alighted upon the bus-stop railing. They may notice that such seemingly irrelevant everyday moments were beginning to sustain and strengthen their resolve to hold on. The focus from that moment on might shift to ensuring that when their bus finally arrived (as they knew it would) they were not enraged, embittered or worn down by the struggle but so vital and beautiful of soul that they could truly relish and give thanks for, that long awaited ride!

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