Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Passing the Torch

Some years ago - a decade actually - I was in charge of promoting the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay in the South Australian country town of Gawler.

It all came about after volunteering at the Gawler Visitor Centre under Brian Sambell, who is now the town's Mayor (oh yeah, I know people in high places - don't you worry about that).

The aim was to raise community awareness and get people involved in nominating local heros to be community torchbearers. It was a great project and I enthusiastically embraced it.

In order to start the ball rolling, I suggested to my then boyfriend (now husband) Patrick to nominate his grandmother Lil Ruffle for the first story. Lil (aka Gran) is such an inspiration and I intend to dedicate an entire post to her. In the meantime, let's just say that she is 86 years young and still cycles on the road for over 100km (62miles) per week.

Patrick was happy to be my 'guinea pig' and his nomination for Gran was my first media story, complete with giant publicity photo, to be published in The Bunyip newspaper. It was a personal victory for me, but what followed was more than I could have ever anticipated.

Gran was selected to be a community torchbearer at the age of 76. Her goal was to run the entire distance (500m / a third of a mile) while holding the 1kg (2.2pound) torch high above her head. After 6 months of focused training in all conditions, she did it with ease - and was consequently televised on every news channel.

This morning I was passing the torch en route to the kitchen when it caught my eye. Though it has been standing there tall and proud ever since, I'd stopped noticing it and its significance. This time, however, it stopped me in my tracks and I began to reflect.

To be honest, I'm always on the lookout for blog fodder and this torch shone like a beacon today... most probably because IT IS a beacon.

I thought about how the torch came to be in our lives, its symbolism and what it has manifested. For a start, it was a dream come true and a just reward for an unsung local hero. Gran's friends flew over from Canada to watch her carry it, the family of four generations came together to celebrate it and Gran, eventually, got to own it.

The torch represents how the spark of an idea carried through can change the course of one's life and the life of those connected to them. It is also a potent reminder of how each person carries a flame that when touched, can ignite the flame of another - and to me, that flame is inspiration.

Just like passing the torch in Gran's kitchen, we erroneously walk past those that harbour inspirational flames that could potentially light up our lives. These people are our spouses, children, parents, grandparents, neighbours, family, friends and colleagues.

Until tomorrow, take time to reignite your flame with the flame of those around you.

Grace xx

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1 comment:

  1. Great story Grace...love your blog


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