In the fall of 1999 I attended a lecture at South Dakota State University and found myself in the same room as a legendary woman. When Dr. Maya Angelou entered from stage right I was astonished at how tall she was. From the balcony her six feet of height seemed even taller. Even though she depended on a cane to stabilize her gait she carried herself in a regal and confident manner. And the voice. Clear. Precise. Riveting. A writer, actress, educator and activist. And I was sitting in the front row of the balcony completely enraptured by her stories. I was saddened to learn that she died this morning. She has left for us a legacy of words in books and poetry and plays that will continue to touch the lives and minds of so many. These words in particular are in my head tonight:
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Indeed it does, Dr. Angelou, indeed it does.