As a life-long claustrophobic, one reason (and a small one) for going to DC was to try to overcome the feeling of anxiety when tight places present themselves to me. I wanted to change. I wanted to test my resilience. I wanted to show my children and my students – like Obama does – a tiny glimpse of courage.
And on a personal note, I wanted to give to Mr. Obama, what he was giving to me…hope.
So when I made my early morning attempt at seeing the inauguration, very quickly I found myself swallowed up in a crowd; and I was grateful that I didn’t bring my kids. I tried to block out the sounds of the kids who were cyring because THOSE sounds were more numbing than the cold.
I had to focus. Time was passing and the crowd was growing. But I knew I had to achieve my goal which was to get out from under my comfort zone.
So when the crush of people started to push – feeling like the heaviest weight was on me, even though I was still standing – I knew I could still see the sky. I had hope. And as the sky was beginning to dawn, the strength to stand came directly from the people. We found things to laugh about. We shared stories. We chanted OBAMA! OBAMA! No one in my immediate vicinity wanted to leave.
Anyone standing out there knew that this would be a huge challenge, and yet we stayed.
Warner writes, "I had ambitious plans for Inauguration Day. I would get up before dawn and take my children to witness history. I would attend a ball."
[I did too.]
Then she shares the same experience I did – except my kids were at home – still pouting that they couldn’t join me.
"Emilie [her daughter] had become hysterical. It didn’t help that we’d spent a few weeks in the early winter discussing the hows and whys of death by trampling. “Why did you bring me here when you knew this could happen?” she’d screamed, as a couple of teenagers started trying to scale one of the fences and a policeman shouted his way through the crowd. “Why did we have to come out in the cold to watch this on a huge TV screen when we could just have stayed home and watched comfortably?”
Read the entire article. It is yet another glimpse from the ground dwellers who were there for the common journey of hope.