Thursday, November 6, 2008

Change has come to America

On election night, I flew from my home in Phoenix to Seattle, and the flight took place in the midst of polls closing and the first real stats on what was happening on this incredibly historic evening.

I collected my luggage from baggage claim and hopped into the first cab I found, driven by a friendly Sihk man. He was just as excited as I to hear the latest news. He tuned his radio to the first station he could find, just as John McCain was broadcast giving his concession speech.

"What does that mean, 'concession'?" the cab driver asked me.

Through my tears of joy, I explained it to him.

"It means that McCain lost," I explained. "It means we have a new President, and it is Barack Obama."

And the man shrieked like a girl given a new puppy. He grabbed my hand, and I grabbed his back, and this stranger and I shared this historic moment of joy and hope in a cab (A Prius cab, first day on the road, fittingly).

I am a very spiritual person, although not religious. Despite this distinction, tonight, and for my nights to follow, I will remember the Obama family in my prayers (for lack of a better term), that this man continues to have the strength, dignity and fortitude to carry this new dawn of American leadership; for his wife, for the strength she will need to support her husband through the greatest trial of his lifetime; for his daughters, whose father was turned from "Daddy" to "Historical Icon" in the course of what seems to them to be the blink of an eye, but to us took hundreds of years. And finally, for the rest of us, to continue to blow these winds of change across our country, to remember that this fight is not over, that there are still many oppressed not just in other parts of the world, but on our own shores. That our children deserve the same change and progress that we've been blessed with in our lifetimes. That the American dream, despite seeming to have taken a breather, is still alive and well and always will be, but not without fighting for it each and every day.

Welcome back, America. It's so good to see you again.