By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Monday morning by any stretch was a hard beginning to the week, and yet it ended up being filled with hope. I sat alone at the round table in Mayor Ronnie’s office and prayed for the Travis family while I waited for him to walk in. I still couldn’t get my head around such a horrific attack, and could only deal with it through prayer. I heard the mayor coming, greeting everyone with a smile “as is his wont,” but for all the times as we have met in his office, I have never seen him do what came next.

We have discussed in several Ronnies how much the mayor hates litter. In his arms was a pile of books, beautiful ones I might add, that had been left outside a pick-up box on Hwy 72 near the car wash in the Hobbs Shopping Center (See photo). There was a whole lot more trash outside the box, and the mayor had even found the mailing labels on some of the packages. Be advised, one is from Toney, one from Tennessee, and don’t be surprised with the new litter laws in place, if you are contacted and confronted.

He said firmly, “Look at this!” Then, he let the books fall to the floor (See the other photo). They were beautiful books, most of which were about how to draw, and were in great condition. “C’mon, man!” he said with an understandably raised voice, and then asked, “Who would do this?” Several members of the City Hall staff came in and could see what was going on, as his voice had carried down the hall.

But then, hidden amongst the discarded treasures was a sparkling gem in the form of a gift book with a CD (which was gone from the sleeve on the inside back cover) entitled, I Hope You Dance. It was small and square, and I happen to own the exact same book. In fact, I devoured that book and CD years ago when I was in an intense personal crisis. It contains the lyrics to a song by country artist Lee Ann Womack of the same title, and may it give you hope as it did us on Monday morning.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along.
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance…
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along.
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)
(Copyright - Sanders, Mark D.; Sillers, Tia; Womack, Lee Ann [2000])
The profound conclusion for a chaotic Monday moment? Don’t litter, and don’t be bitter. Then it was time to pray, and pray fervently, and then Ronnie rolled.

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Athens Now Online 2019