Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009

I was unsure how to acknowledge this day through my blog. Many days my blog is more about sharing with all of you than it is something that is personally for me. Today I feel compelled to treat it more like a journal, an even more personal record of this day. Because the record I want to keep of today is not about recording specific facts but rather feelings, I think I could revise it forever. The task of putting emotions into words is perhaps one of life's great challenges so I feel a little shy sharing this today.

I decided to record this day in a small letter to the children that I do not yet have. I took a few photos today as well and I will try to upload them in the next couple of days.

My Dearest Ones,

I write to you from a magical day. A day of so many dreams realized. Today I have witnessed an amazing day in history. Martin Luther King spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before I was born, the end of apartheid and the fall of the Berlin Wall occurred when I was too young to understand the significance. While I will always be able to tell you about where I was on September 11th and how dark the years that followed have been for our country, I now have a much more incredible day to tell you about.

Today is January 2oth, 2009. I am sitting with four of your grandparents tucked away in Celo. It has been snowing outside and a fire in the wood stove keeps us warm. This morning I woke up before the sunrise, giddy with excitement as if it were Christmas. Today is a day that I have been waiting and hoping and working for for many months. Today is the day that Barack Obama has become the 44th president of the United States.

This has been an incredible journey to get to this point. It has felt so long and at times I have tried even to guard my heart in case this had not been the outcome of this election. Ever since Obama came on the scene four years ago I am among the many that has been in awe of him and all that he stands for. It is not just that he shares many of the same political views that I do. It is that for many of us, he represents the essence of the American dream and all the tremendous opportunity, equality, and freedom that I had been raised to believe it offered. But he is beyond just a symbol, he has inspired an awakening in the people of America. We have found the strength and passion within each of us to take ownership once again of our own destinies as well as the destiny of our nation. Today, the people of America have awoken. Tired of losing our jobs, tired of this war, tired of not having health care, we have been inspired to rise up and see how we can participate in change.

The last two days have seemed so cosmically aligned. Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day. This has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a young girl I remember getting together with a friend of mine from elementary school to bake a cake for Dr. King and wanting even then to take the time to reflect on the better world that I get to live in because of his great sacrifices. To have this special holiday fall the day before the inauguration of the first African American president was a coincidence too hard to ignore. Now, yet again in this election, we have been shown that anything is possible. We have given the American Dream one of the most challenging tests it can be given and it has prevailed. The son of an African man, a boy who was raised by a single mother and his grandparents, who worked hard and earned his right to this without connections, has become president of the United States.

There are no illusions about how hard the challenges ahead are. In Obama's words today; "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met." We know that the election of Obama is not a magic wand that will fix all of our world's problems but even this great honesty is so refreshing.

I may have not been there when Martin Luther King gave his I have a Dream Speech, I am not among those who will be able to tell you where they were when Kennedy was shot. But I was here today. I am tingling all over with the feeling of limitless possibilities for the world that I live in now and the one that you will inherit.

These are the final stanzas of the poem that poet Elizabeth Alexander wrote and delivered today during the inauguration. I leave you with these words my sweet children as little bread crumbs on the trail of lives that I hope you will lead with love guiding your way.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

1 comment:

Noelle said...

I think it's absolutely wonderful all of the hope our new president inspires in you. Never lose that hope, Sarah. What a blessing!!!