I have been teary all day, overcome by the inauguration and the decentness of our new president. I was impressed by his classiness in escorting former President Bush to the helicopter and standing there in the freezing cold to wave good-bye. I was impressed by the intensity of his emotion when, nearing the end of the inauguration luncheon, he announced that his heart had left the room along with the stricken Senator Ted Kennedy (who is doing better, as I write this). Mostly I was impressed by his speech which has had me thinking all day.

I’ve heard some people say they’re tired of hearing about “hope.” I’m not one of them. I know I need all the reminders of hope I can get! Like this precious reminder in the form of one of my favorite babykins, sitting on her “Uncle” Neil’s lap. (The book she is enthusiastically devouring is Hug, Hug by Readergirlz Diva, Lorie Ann Grover).

I haven’t printed out a transcript yet of President Obama’s speech, but these words are already imprinted on my heart: Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. So while my sense of joy and celebration is strong, I am also thoughtful. Perhaps even uneasy. Our President has a kind heart but a demanding nature. He won’t settle for my sitting around, doing the same things I’ve always done. I don’t know what role I can play in the remaking of America but I know I have a part to play.

I’d love to know if his speech hit you the same way and if you, too, are shifting in your seat a bit, wondering what more you could do.

Because I think he’s telling us “hope” is not a word or an emotion. It’s an action.

No Responses to “Hope”

  1. Kjersten

    Nicely said, Kirby. My husband and I were reading the speech again, today, and highlighting our favorite parts. It stirs me to move — to hope with my hands, my feet, my work, and my ears, not only my heart.

  2. Carrie

    I love that you described hope as a verb… And, yes, President Obama’s speech did move me… I’m not even sure I fully recognized that it was his speech (at least in part) that has caused me to begin to feel a little bit more motivated to make a difference somewhere around me. Taking some steps. Hoping that even my little part might make a difference! Happy New Era!!

  3. Suzanne Williams

    You cited one of my favorite lines from President Obama’s speech, Kirby. I, too, have been feeling more motivated of late. I attribute the increased spring in my step to my hope for the future–and a couple of New Year’s resolutions!