Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hope of a better day

We've spent the last few days getting the office spruced up for our open house on Friday evening, and I've been finishing up decorating my office. I had a windowpane mirror that I bought a few months ago but had never hung, and Kurt hung that for me last night. I'm in the kitchen, and the cabinets are painted white, so my theme has been white and cream. The mirror frame is white, I have a little off-white cabinet, a white painted wooden birdhouse, pale green candles, crystals, seashells.

And plants! The wife of one of the guys who works here runs a college greenhouse, and she brought me a hanging Wandering Jew plant this afternoon, which is hanging from the heat register. The ceilings here are high, and I was standing there holding the plant, trying to figure out what I was going to do with it. I figured if all else failed I could just sit it on a filing cabinet or something, but Aaron came in, stood up on the chair, and hung it from the register. It works pretty well there, actually.

I also repotted a plant that I've had on my desk for awhile. It's a mixture of several different kinds of plants; Bob brought it home from the funeral of one of his friends' mothers, and I brought it in, thinking it probably wouldn't live very long. But it has, so I got a new pot last weekend and potted it today. It looks pretty good. I really like the energy that plants bring to a space, and I used to have a lot of plants at home.

But I kind of got out of the habit of having houseplants, and don't have any at home now. I'm making up for it at the office, though.

I remember seeing Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and being very impressed with him, thinking, wow, he could be president some time. I didn't expect it would be so soon, though.

I've always voted Democratic, and I remember most of the presidential elections, watching and hoping that the Democratic candidate be elected, but most of them weren't terribly important to me. The first election that I really felt "belonged" to me was Clinton/Gore. I felt at that time that I might actually volunteer for the campaign, but I didn't, of course. This election felt like that, too.

I'm so happy, and hopeful for the future. I honestly didn't think it could happen, I thought that when the time came, we'd end up electing another old white man as president. During the convention, when the decision was being made as to whether Obama or Hilary Clinton would be the candidate, I wondered whether it could happen -- could the U.S. elect a black man, or a woman president? I had hopes, I just wasn't confident that it could happen.

But it did. The phrase that struck me the most from his acceptance speech was this:

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

I have hope.

previous | next