I am writing this at 6:20 am Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. And though you will not find news of this in any meteorological journal anywhere, not even in the venerable, semi-mythic and often prescient Farmer’s Almanac, a cosmological singularity will occur today.
We will be witness to two sunrises.
The first will be visible in the east, at precisely 7:23 a.m. Baltimore time.
The second will be visible from almost every TV set in the land, reflected in eyes and faces of millions, perhaps billions, of people around the world, at precisely noon EST local time, Washington, DC. when Barack Obama takes the oath of office for President of the United States of America.
After the long night of the Bush administration, after an era of legal recklessness, anti-intellectualism, environmental degradation, rampant selfishness, economic irresponsibility, and an overall coldness that caused relationships to harden and become brittle; after eight years of setting a tone that led the entire world to almost lose faith in America, and America to almost lose faith in itself, a new political dawn is breaking.
We are all realists. A new dawn is just a beginning. We know will not witness miracles. No heavenly curtain will part with cherubs singing in glorious harmony. No miraculous recovery - economic or environmental - will descend upon us; no breaking out of peace all over the land. Times will continue to be tough. And, as the new President is likely to say, times may stay tough for a while. And yet, people and life can be good even in tough times. We can hang together, build a better future, pull each other through if we trust and believe and care for each other.
The tone for a household, business or government is set by the top. The graciousness, caring, openness, and intelligence of this new President promises to set a new tone for his administration, America and the world. How wonderful for America to have chosen him.
A new day begins.