Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Day - Reason to Celebrate

After a month of holiday interruptions and plain old inertia, I finally returned to my still-new running routine this morning. Winter came just long enough for me to build a snowman and then left so we are now having a delightful spring - clear, sunny skies and balmy weather.

My weekend was delightful - herding longhorns, riding bikes, chatting up cowboys, taking pictures, reading, eating homemade chili and singing. My new Sunday morning habit, Mile Hi Church, has become a growing source of peace - something I've been chasing for 43 years.

All of this - plus having the day off - has left me with a very distinct feeling: 'Me and my country - I think we are going to be okay.'

I can't even imagine what black Americans must be feeling today and - holy cow - TOMORROW. Such a swirl of emotions, I'm sure.

I caught Terri Gross on NPR's 'Fresh Air' interviewing Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) who worked with MLK, Jr. in the Civil Rights movement and led the march on Bloody Sunday in Alabama. His parents were sharecroppers and repeatedly warned him not to get involved, to just stay out of the way. Thankfully, he defied them. To come from that tumultuous and daunting experience and live to today must be mind boggling.

As a curious child, John went to check out a book at the public library in Selma, Alabama and was told no - "Whites only." He did not return until 1998 when he gave a book signing for his memoir, 'Walking with the Wind.' The library presented him with an honorary library card. Even as he told the story, you could see him shaking his head on the radio, incredulous with the changes.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be intensely proud and relieved but today, I feel major gratitude for all those folks like John Lewis who spoke up and were shunned, beaten up and arrested so that our country could become what it proclaimed to be at the beginning - a place where all could find equality. I'm in awe of their bravery and fortitude.

Now, I'm off to bake red-white-and-blue cupcakes for tomorrow's Inauguration Party - Halle-friggin'-luah!


Kath said...

Is is bad that the second I heard that Dick Cheney was injured and in a wheelchair, my first thought was "Uh oh...what did Heather do to Dick?'

Happy GOBAMA Day!

Words For Hire said...

Whoo hoo and Amen! In conversations with my father and grandmother today there were just moments of reverent silence. I loved what you said "me and my country are going to be okay." That sums it up quite nicely. I share the sentiment and dangit if I could bake you bet there'd be cupcakes for everyone!


ClizBiz said...

Kath: Oh, if only I could take credit. Though I have never wished him dead - that's bad juju - I have wished painful ass boils on the man many times.

Karen: "Moments of reverent silence" - lovely! Me? Not as quiet. I cried and screamed in joy a lot. Cupcakes for everyone!