Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I walked outside this morning

and the world was different.

The cosmos in my garden were still brown and wilting. My neighbor's cars were lined up in the usual order in their driveway: silver car, red car, old blue truck pockmarked with rust. The streets were quiet. Lights were on in homes where people sluggishly readied themselves for another day of work. It was all as it always is, yet nothing felt the same.

Last night I witnessed an occurrence of such magnitude that it defies explanation or description. It didn't come in the form of some spectacular supernova, but on my television screen, in a steady sequence of small red and blue explosions. It happened as numbers ticked by and fate become increasingly apparent. It happened while my children watched and while the greater world held its collective breath.

I'm so tired today that I feel as though I'm still lingering in a dream. The last time I had a hand in electing a Democrat to the presidency, I was an eighteen-year old college kid. Now, I'm a mother with three children born into a world that has become increasingly ugly, due in no small part to the leadership that has served throughout most of their lives. I want them to see America and Americans as I saw it/them when things seemed sane and decent. Maybe now they'll have that chance.

When I watched the towers fall on 9/11, I was five months pregnant. I imagined the violence that would follow in response. I wondered what kind of a world I was bringing my child into. Last night I got a glimpse of what may define my country in the next years, and it was profoundly beautiful, in contrast.

The very same country who elected an inarticulate right-wing war monger four and eight years ago just swept in a brilliant young black man from Chicago. What a change, indeed.

It's supposed to snow this weekend. I've been generally sick of the white stuff, but today I don't even care. There's a bright sliver of sun slicing through the relentless gloom that has hung over this corner of the world like a stifling wet wool blanket.

I'll get a shovel, brace my back, and be ready to work. I expect no less from our president-elect, Barack Obama.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thanks for that beautiful post Lara. It made me cry....again! I've been doing that a lot lately but only out of pure relief and the thought of a black family in the white house. It truly has been an amazing journey, this past election. I'm so glad it's finally over but will remember it for as long as I live. I have so much trust and faith in our next president. It's been one full week and I'm still in a sort of disbelief. WE DID IT!!!!!