January 20, 2009

I Watched the Inauguration at Whole Foods. Where Were You?

I’ve been sick for the past week or so, so when I woke up this morning, planning to meet some friends at a breakfast joint to watch the inauguration, or maybe make my way to a nearby cafe, the first thing I thought was that I needed some fruit. Call it a Vitamin C craving, all I knew was that I needed a kiwi, a pineapple, some strawberries—whatever. My boyfriend and I arrived at Whole Foods just minutes before the inauguration was scheduled to start and oddly enough found it equipped with a flat screen TV behind the checkout aisles and a crowd of both employees and customers wearing paper hats printed with stars and stripes.

As I bought my pint of blackberries and an orange, Aretha Franklin stepped to the podium to sing America the Beautiful. So I pulled up a chair and watched the inauguration in a supermarket. A continuous line of customers checked out in the background, and a construction crew was working on a hole in the parking lot outside. A little girl wearing pink shoes ate a handful of dry Corn Flakes in her dad’s arms. Not the most romantic location, but a powerful reminder that life goes on. That momentous occasions happen, when each of us suddenly seems stunned and proud to be standing together—reminded of a larger picture—but that these historical moments are not separate from our own mundane lives. And that it’s our job to take the inspiration and hope sparked by today’s inauguration and weave it into our daily routine, each morning waking up, and placing one foot in front of the other.

Where were you during the inauguration?

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