There is a small overpass on Interstate 79 that I pass under every time I return to Gannon after a weekend at home. It is not located near any significant cities and is miles from an exit. It was probably made in the ‘80s or ‘90s. It has no structural irregularities and if you were not paying too much attention to your surroundings, you might even miss it. It is nothing more that background noise for a drive home. So who really cares about an overpass?
On this occasion, there was graffiti on the overpass. In white paint the phrase “chase the sun with me?” was painted upon the broad side of the concrete ledge. For the rest of the trip back I wondered who wrote this. Why would they write it? What do they want?
I searched the web for the meaning of this phrase or even an origin. I found a lot of song lyrics and fragments, but never the exact phrase. I stumbled on a 17-hour bike race held in England known as Chase the Sun that stretches from one coast to another during the summer solstice. Does someone want me to enter an English bike race for 17 hours with them? I’m going to say that’s not it.
From what I gathered, the sun must be the sunset. The sun and sunset are symbolic of the closing or ending of something. The sun is the finish line in whatever race, journey or adventure you are on.
To me, the sun is any ambition you have. We all have ambitions, some loftier than others. We also all need help.
When you get to college, your ambitions might change. Sure, some people will come to Gannon knowing exactly what they want and will pursue it to the maximum intent. But regardless, along the way, they will ask for help. From friends and faculty, they will ask others to chase the sun with them. One day, on graduation day, they will finally meet their own sun. From their, they will set sails for a new sun, because as the ‘90s band Semisonic so eloquently put it, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
At the end of the day, we are all after the sun. Maybe not the same sun, but we each have a sun that we want. Sometimes we need help chasing the sun. Sometimes you need to ask if someone will chase the sun with you.