Anticipation. Riding the choo into Ogilvie station, the feeling already started to build. A train full of people, eagerly awaiting what we hoped would be the announcement we were waiting for.
Overwhelmed. Arriving at Grant Park, you just could not believe the people. Everywhere you looked, wall to wall people, standing together in hope. Black, white, rich, poor, straight, gay, young, old ... none of that mattered. We were more than just a group of individuals. In those moments as we gathered, we represented for one another the very best we expect from our country.
Support. Friends stood with friends, strangers became acquainted, hugs, smiles and stories were shared. My dear friend Jessica (or Shakespeare, as I like to call her) and I danced to the music, cheered with the crowd as results began to come in, and soaked up the atmosphere.
Then, this image caught my eye. A little girl, perched atop her father's shoulders, waving an American flag. This, I thought to myself, this is why we're here. This child, witnessing history happening around her, brought my thoughts to the children in my life, and how hopeful I am for their future.
When President-Elect Barack Obama took to the podium, it was to the resounding chant of "Yes We Can." I looked around at people smiling, crying (yeah, that was me,) hugging friends, calling family, and hearing the very first public address from our next President. Oh, yes, we can. Sometimes we have to wait, sometimes the wait is difficult, but yes, indeed, we can.
Even more tired. This morning, it was hard to shake myself awake. Four hours of sleep isn't nearly enough! But I'd do it again in a heartbeat. There is no way to accurately portray what it was like to be in Grant Park, to share in this experience. All I can really do is echo the words I heard last night.
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."