On the way to work this morning, listening to NPR, the sense of unreality I'd been feeling struck me: I felt like we'd been living in an alternate universe since November, one where good things can and do happen, but a universe that existed in parallel with the real universe, in which McCain and Palin had won and we were financially ruined and in two wars with no foreseeable way out. (Yes, I've read a lot of science fiction in my day.)
Does anyone else feel like this? Like it's still surreal to hear the words "President Obama?" I just can't quite believe we're fortunate enough to be living in this reality, in this time, in this historical moment.
Don't get me wrong - I'm no Pollyanna, and I don't think he can cure cancer, much less our current fiscal and war-torn predicaments, with a wave of his fingers or a beautifully crafted speech. I do, however, think that his particular sense of justice, his ability to truly listen to both sides of an argument and make an almost Solomon-like judgment, his penchant for actively seeking opinions from opponents, that these traits of his already put us so far ahead of where we were yesterday that it's as if we have jumped into another universe. And in this universe, anything can happen, because we have hope and virtue.
He's already made a difference in our house. Tonight, after I'd read the one Harry Potter chapter to which I'd committed, and tucked the girls snugly into bed, Hannah asked, for the first time ever, that Hazel come sleep with her. Hazel accepted, and the next thing I knew, Hannah was reading out to Hazel, as the two girls snuggled together, giggling. I choose to take that as a portent of hope, and virtue.