Written by Karen D. Swim
Last night, U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama danced their first dance to the song At Last (originally recorded by Etta James). The song was recorded in 1961, four years before the National Voting Rights act was signed. Nearly a century later it has a new place in our history, marking yet another milestone in our country.
I have always loved this song but as I listened to it this morning I wondered, how many woke up this morning in anticipation of their own “At Last?” How many are still in the struggle for what sometimes may seem a far off battle? How many desperately want to celebrate their own At Last?
President Obama symbolized the culmination of a long fought battle for many Americans but as he pointed out the sacrifices of generations paved the way to that moment. As he stood in the national spotlight yesterday, he did it standing on the shoulders of so many who struggled, fought, sacrificed and most importantly believed there would be an “At Last.”
Your own moment may not be 50 years in the making but I urge you today to proudly stand upon the shoulders of those that have gone before you, and to link arms with those around you who will help you make it to your moment in the sun. It begins with belief and continues with action and yes, often sacrifice but this song can be your anthem too.
Are you working toward your own “At Last?” What keeps you motivated not to give up? Have you already arrived, and if so, have any tips to share?
Karen Swim says
@Wendi, well said! You are right we have crossed one bridge but we are not done! I hope that we will embrace the change and work together to keep moving forward.
@Melissa I share your sentiments. It is an amazing time and I am so thankful to be here, experiencing it. It is a time of renewed hope, and I hope that we continue to grow, change and believe.
@Regina, hello and welcome! I share those hopes for you, may there be many more “at last” moments as you walk in your purpose.
Regina Farr says
Just finished checking out your blog (very nice)….More specifically the article “at last” (thought provoking)….I can think of so many things I’ve experienced in my 30 years in corporate role where I had the thought at last… prayerfully… many more will follow…
Melissa Donovan says
I truly love that song – it’s so beautiful and Beyonce did an excellent job serenading the president and first lady. From the election to the last inaugural ball, I have never seen anything like the hope and inspiration that is happening all over America today. People are starting to believe again and that is the first step toward each of us finding our own At Last. I keep saying it over and over: what an amazing time to be alive.
Melissa Donovan´s last blog post..When Writers Blog
Wendi Kelly- Life's Little Inspirations says
At Last is a great song. And well deserved. Everything you have written here is 100% true. But they also could have sung
( Although I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much) “We’ve only just begun” That old Karen Carpenter song.
Because I think it is also an important message. and the TWO messages are what make the power. Everything that has happened in the past has brought us to the crossroads of this powerful choice and NOW…we have only just begun to see what we have the abilty to DO when we all stand together as one community united.
We have only just begun.
Wendi Kelly- Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog post..Inspired Movies
Karen Swim says
E., thanks so much for your comments and welcome! I agree with you it is just one of those songs that sticks. As an adult, it touches me differently than when I used to hear it play on a record player as a child. 🙂
Karen Swim says
Joanna, I’m so glad you enjoyed the song, it is one of those old great songs that never fails to move me.
You are so right, others *want* us to succeed. I think we go along sometimes and forget that. Together we can accomplish so much more. If I forget that, please pinch me. 🙂
Karen Swim says
Brett, sending some fire right your way! I love Canada!
E. Payne says
I’ve been a long-time fan of Etta James, though I’m not of her generation. At Last is one of those pieces that just pierces you and then sticks with you for some time after listening to it. Until last night it used to take me to an imaginary place that I now know is real.
Nice post. Thanks for sharing.
E. Payne´s last blog post..Happy MLK Day!
Joanna Young says
Karen, what a wonderful post to match your piece from yesterday – thanks for including the link to the song too, I loved listening to it.
I am particularly struck by your images of linking arms and standing on shoulders… reminding me that others *want* us to succeed, to be brilliant, to achieve great things, and that it is a pleasure, not a burden for them to lend a hand in this way. And how much more we can do when we work together!
Joanna Young´s last blog post..Quotes on Writing and Audacity
Brett Legree says
Don’t lose that fire, that energy – keep it burning, keep it flowing.
There is a great opportunity before everyone, one not to be missed!!!
Together, great things will be done in your country, and as a neighbour to the North I’m counting on some of it spilling across the border 🙂
Brett Legree´s last blog post..viking mondays? courage.