Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Election 2008

Congratulations, America!

Regardless of who you voted for, the waiting is over. Here at the Veggy House , and like so many other places, people gathered to welcome the election results. There was wine and snacks, champagne and toasting. But it was subdued, with little of the cheering and whooping I'd imagined. Our gathering of twenty plus was a gorgeous cornucopia of skin colors from white, to olive, brown and black, including ages two to...much-older. There were tenants, neighbors, friends and guests, each one fell solemn during Obama's acceptance speech as we absorbed the levity of the election finally over, the implications of the history being made, the weight of the work ahead. Finally...hope! I found it interesting that those from other countries (there were several) expressed as much joy over the outcome as anyone.

For some, like myself, it's been eight years coming. To avoid the suffocation of irrevocable disappointment, I've been living underground when it comes to national politics, surviving my scorn and America's descent in, well, just about every way possible. Lamenting -- at times fearing -- our country's declining reputation by others around the world in a way that is unprecedented for my generation. Feeling bitter over not being heard, over my neighbors not being heard. Watching the few (who cut corners) rise at the expense of the many who don't. I'm too young to be jaded! My panacea has come from volunteering for causes I consider solution-focused, and reframing my hope in this country through the power of communities and local politics -- both values I learned in AmeriCorps. But finally...today I exhaled. Aahhhhh. Deep and full, awkward and unfamiliar. Eight years coming. The jeering and whooping can wait, I don't mind. Tonight and for many to come, I fall asleep feeling...re-enchanted!

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