Vicarious Journey, Momentous Day

January 1, 2009

New Year’s Eve feast at Simpatica’s communal dining tables. Suzame and I sit across from each other. A couple takes the seats next to us. Strangers, but not for long.

He’s a musician, she’s a pediatric nurse practitioner. Outgoing and warm, they’re scheduled to wed in June. Talk turns to politics, and they describe an African trip last November to work for a charitable medical group:

They’re in a remote Kenyan village. They crowd with other people around a small television in a tiny house. Dawn creeps through the windows. The house has no electricity. Car batteries power the TV. Barack Obama is giving his victory speech.

Tears, disbelief, jubilation. And, suddenly, respect for America and its people.

Thanks, Lee and Madeleine.