Today’s news has been something I have been waiting for, hoping for, with bated breath. For five days, I have held my nostrils and lips tightly as webpages for ballot counts reloaded and as message applications showed my friends’ thoughts in progress.
Waiting for the presidential election results has been like watching a pot of water boil. At the start, there is no activity. The flame is bright, lit, vibrant, urging that lukewarm water to boil. But no matter how strong that flame is, how excited it is, how much it wants the water to boil, the water does nothing. I was one of the millions of flickers of flame wishing, coaxing that water to boil. An update of each state’s blue vote fanned the flame inciting even more coaxing.
When watching water boil, the first bubble, just like the announcement of the first official blue state, is exciting, momentous, but without much significance. It disappears as quickly as it appears, taunting us that the end is not quite as near as we hoped. But, as the states were tracked, finalized and announced, you could feel momentum growing. By Friday, we were at that point in the boiling where you could see bubbles forming at the base of the kettle and gradually appearing more quickly.
Today, Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 11:30PM, the bubbles finally came to a rolling boil. Today, the country let out a collective roar just as the kettle whistled.
That resounding roar was as much for victory as it was of relief. Tears fell and chests heaved, mimicking the surging and swirling of water and bubbles when there is a boil. It was all a release. A letting go of what we did not realize we were holding onto. A dropping of shoulders, an unclenching of jaws and an unfurling of fists that have been on high alert for four years. A release of four years’ of emotions with no discharge and no completion cycle – doubt, hopelessness, sadness, anger, disbelief, grief, despair, and so on. A systemwide realization that we will no longer be subjected to misogyny, discrimination, racism, bullying, lying, and abuse at the hands of the highest office in our country.
Today, the country released a deep sigh with an eye looking forward to, a heart open to and a soul willing to do the work for hope, unity and love.