Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The day after: It's a long road to a better future, but at least now there's hope
Early November around here is usually brutal for anyone who is affected by the seasons. Late autumn can steal your soul. The days are shorter, Daylight Time is over, and darkness comes like a surprise. And then the weather starts to turn. The earlier golden days are replaced by endless weeks filled with cold winds, joyless clouds and unending darkness. Frequent rains rip the leaves from the trees and rob them of their color. What a background for a presidential election.
Eight years ago, it was a nightmare. The weather started to turn on election day, and for weeks after that the darkness continued unbroken as events unfolded in Florida and Washington. Between the election and the day the Supreme Court ruled for Bush, the sun never came out -- or so it seems now, although I suppose there were days when it did. It was the death of hope. The heavens seemed to mock the very idea of hope. The same dark cycle played out more quickly four years ago. When the country was offered a choice between light and darkness, we once again found ourselves collectively sidetracked into the dark side.
It's different now. This year we had a pleasant autumn that continued, unseasonably warm, right through the election. It's only a matter of time before we catch up to the calendar and the season turns miserable again. But it's different now -- the cold and wet and darkness won't be reinforcing a deeper sense of hopelessness. This isn't 2000. It isn't 2004. It's 2008, Barack and Michelle Obama are headed for the White House, and there's a new sense of hope to warm our souls during the dark days. (And lots of hard work.)