A year ago there was a moment in time when I was thankful for the pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, my husband was working from home and my son was participating in Zoom school. Because of the pandemic we were all at home, all able to hold hands and witness together the historic Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
I don’t remember much of the speeches from that day. But I do remember a strong feeling of reassurance. The feeling you get when the teacher is back in the classroom instead of an inexperienced substitute who has poor classroom management skills.
And I absolutely do remember Amanda Gorman. I remember her yellow jacket and her red headband. I remember her poise and presence. And I remember the delivery of her powerful words. Words that seemed to envelope us all, and remind us of all that is good and possible. Words that made me feel we were on the road to being okay.
As Oprah Winfrey writes in the foreword of this collectible gift edition, “Everyone who watched came away enhanced with hope and marveling at seeing the best of who we are and can be through the eyes and essence of a twenty-two-year-old, our country’s youngest presidential inaugural poet.”
When I recently re-read The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem For the Country, I was just as awestruck as I was the first time. If you haven’t re-visited Ms. Gorman’s powerful Inaugural Poem, I highly recommend it. This is a book which forever will find a home on my bookshelf, and years from now, will be passed on to younger generations.
As Ms. Gorman writes:
“But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might, and might
Then love becomes our legacy,
And change, our children’s birthright.”