I felt the need to revisit my amberwaves blog this morning, to visit in my memory the many wonderful states where there are disappointed citizens awaking this morning. Maybe it was the fact that we took this amazing trip in the midst of the seemingly never-ending election season that enabled me to experience this election on a different level than those that have come before.
Or maybe it's the fact that, as I have gotten older and live in an increasingly complicated and complex world, I am not able to so easily separate those around me into red and blue, wrong and right. I have had more disagreement with people I love and with whom I hold the same political beliefs during this election than I ever have had before.
And, looking back, I realize this is because I have changed. Perhaps it was the trip through Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah - red states all - and the chance to interact with "those people" who are as skeptical of us as we are of them. Perhaps it is the fact that some of my dearest friends, great people of strong character, voted for McCain this year. Perhaps it is that my students fall evenly into two camps, each articulating its position with grace and clarity.
Regardless, I found myself arguing for Obama when I was among the die-hard McCain supporters, and defending McCain when I was among the die-hard Obama supporters. And I found myself more and more comfortable being able to take either position. Now clearly I have my opinion. I am a registered Democrat, contributed to both Clinton's and Obama's campaigns, wore the pins, donated my status, voted the ticket.
But I am proud today not that Obama won (which is wonderful) but that I talked to people during this election season. And I listened. I tried to be the change I wish to see in the world. It didn't always feel good, but it always felt right.
As I look at the photo above and reflect on all the Main Streets across this great nation, I have hope. I feel certain that Obama will reach out to every American. I just hope that every American is equally willing to reach out to one another.