What January 20th, 2009 means to me
Today, I feel as if I am clasping hands with people from not only all across the country, but people from our present and past- people that have stood up to injustice, people who bravely shouldered the burden of inhumanity, people who have chosen to recognize what is right over what is established, people who have cared instead of shrugged, people who have seen value where they are told there was none, people who have looked themselves in the eye and been ashamed but not paralyzed, people who have held out a hand in compassion and friendship and trust. On this day, I feel that as a nation we are picking up the long thread that stretches behind us and adding a new design to this tapestry that is American history.
I feel proud, hopeful, and humble. I feel like it’s one of the rare moments when you know beforehand that you are actually about to become part of history, not just an unwitting consumer who discovers it after the fact. It may sound odd, but I hope that I have to struggle to convey the importance of this day to our daughters and grandchildren- not because it will be forgotten, but because this step in our journey as a nation brings us closer to our goal of being a union of tolerance, kindness, kinship, empathy, and understanding. As a woman, a mother, and as a person who tries to be AWARE, I want to embrace today for the excitement and promise it holds and throw off the cynicism and caution that I would normally reserve for portentious moments like these. I want to hug my friends, dance with my husband, twirl with my children, and feel the full power of the human heart and potential for just a few minutes.
There will be time enough (all of it that’s left) to get back to the day to day, the minutae that makes up our lives, but for this moment- I will believe and throw open the walls of my heart to the skies and feel the infinite potential of the universe.