I'm feeling so full of feathers and firecrackers; a feeling that I remember so often from childhood, that seemed to be lurk around so many corners, say, waiting at the mall to see the trapeze artist or being at the tent revival and watching believer after believer find Jesus again; hope was everywhere then: it was in Dairy Queen and the Braves and sitting shotgun in the station wagon and saying the pledge of allegiance and wanting to be a ballerina and live at Myrtle Beach; and then, time turned (as it does); leaves fell (again and again); snow came and rain and a whole cloud of mosquitoes, and hope was still there but it came in pulses and flashes: it was standing in line for the bus with my one giant suitcase when I first moved to New York; it was in the sudden pink of the sky on an early morning walk and in the sound of the waves on my wedding day; it was walking to the drugstore to buy yet another pregnancy test, just to make sure it was true, hearing the heartbeat, seeing the profile; and, heck, I've always loved the feeling, but for so long, it's felt so independent, so solitary, so my own explosion of feathers and firecrackers.
Since Tuesday night, though, hope has swelled through the streets of the city. It's palpable. This town--this town that hasn't quite been able to shake the cloud of September 11, 2001, that's had its stock market troubles and its millions of tiny despairs, its fractured friendships and failed relationships--now reeks of hope and love and desire and belief. I'm just feeling grateful to be a part of this time in history, grateful that my daughter will be born in a year when hope was also reborn into the hearts of millions. Thank you, Mr. Obama, for bringing that wild, giddy feeling back to so many of us. May hope cease to be something that catches us only in flashes and once again become something that we stumble into, corner after corner, season after season, whether we're pushing a stroller or holding a hand or running to yoga after having just dropped the kids off at school; may it be something we know and savor and demand, and may, in the end, it manifest itself into something even greater.