Today felt like the start of a new world order. As I watched the US election results unfold I began to see beyond what is to what could be.
I was so encouraged by the number of people who voted, the number of young people who voted, and by the belief in change that many people so obviously carried in their hearts. It was like the world was learning once more how to hope.
When it was announced that Barack Obama was the President Elect, my son and I cried. ‘This is a real moment in history,’ my son said. A real moment.
We surfed every news channel and all the images were the same. People were in the streets. Rejoicing. I have an old antique brass bell that I keep in the china cabinet because it is so fragile and I don’t want it to break but I couldn’t help myself today – I rang it. Holding it above my head and letting it peal with joy. Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can, my son and I chanted in between peals from the bell and rather vigorous jumping up and down. It was invigorating and as close to real jubilation as I have felt for a long time. That bell hasn’t been rung for over ten years.
Just before Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech the camera panned to the crowd in Grant Park, Chicago and I saw a man. He was an elderly African-American man just standing there, drinking in the atmosphere. He wasn’t clapping, he wasn’t cheering, he wasn’t even smiling, but as the camera zoomed in on him for the briefest of moments I saw a single tear run down his cheek.
The significance of that tear was enormous. It dissolved unvoiced doubts, unspoken fears. It gathered dreams of what could be and if only into bunches of what is.
The night tastes sweet when the heart is full of joy. If you put out your tongue you can taste renmants of clouds, light as spun sugar. And then the wind comes and blows the clouds away. And all you can see is stars.