It’s hour nineteen in the mini-van on the second day of vacation.  Our legs ache and we’re giddy, singing silly songs when we round the familiar corner in Eganville, Ontario, just thirty minutes away from our final destination, the family cottage.  A black sign on wheels at the edge of an empty lot congratulates Melissa Bishop, 2012 Olympic Runner, in white magnetic letters.

For a moment, the car breathes silent because this town is a blink on the road and we feel it. The way Melissa, she carries hope for all of them to London.

A few days later I take a morning walk on a road that looks like a miniature model of the Great Lakes after a rainstorm.  An unfamiliar turn to get a closer look at a seaplane parked on the lake leads to a rock of etched words that distract me.

This little strip of public beach at the end of the road where I stand is a park dedicated to Sheryl Boyle, 1996 Canoe Olympian from Renfrew, a community nearby. The rock declares it. I’ve been coming to the cottage since 1995 and never walked past that rock.

At 8:00 pm every evening on vacation, we stop whatever we’re doing to take our places around the television to witness the resurrection of hope, the surprise of redemption in the feats of athletes around the world. Olympians remind us that the unknowns of the world just like us make history.

It’s my birthday today and I’m celebrating over an Olympic feast at the Schell Café. Kristin Schell and I were introduced online by her mother, Vicki Kessler, a prayer warrior in my life. We’ll meet inRL for the first time next month.

I’m joining the conversation she started  around an international table, sharing about a special dinner in the home of my Rwandan friend. Grab a piece of cake and pull up a chair at the table. I’d love to celebrate with you.