January 20th, 2009

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Great day...great hopes

"This is the day the Lord has made--let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Today was a long time coming and I wasn't sure it would happen in my lifetime.  It's a day to stand up, take that deep breath, relax those shoulders, and be glad of,  whether you think the Lord made it or not. 

The old gospel song "Great day!" is running through my head.  We sing it in the Alice Parker anthem version. 

Great days that have engendered great hopes are often seen, in the next days or years, to have been over-hyped.  The glass-half-empty folks see that not all the great hopes were fulfilled...that the world did not turn into their oyster, their bowl of cherries, their banana split with whipped cream and sprinkled and a cherry on top. 

But this time...this time the real hope, that there is a path from bottom to top that is actually open for those with the talent--that you don't have to be white, male, and in the right network--this hope has been fulfilled even before the Inauguration itself.  That glass ceiling isn't just cracked--it's shattered.  It's shattered not only for African-Americans but for all those who were kept underfoot for so long, including the white men who thought they had to support the ceiling to have any respect for themselves. 

We're still human.  We as a country still find race and gender and religion ways to keep people in pigeonholes, keep them apart, insist that they not get to know one another.  But the glass ceiling over those pigeonholes cracked, fell into pieces...we are all, if we choose to be, free at last, free to fly out of those pigeonholes and fly with all the others in the open air and sun.  We can all, if we choose, recite the Declaration of Independence without that centuries' long reservation about "those people"...for as was written in 1776, and as was true long before that, "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."

Great day.  One great hope fulfilled.