So… it begins.
I left Boston today to catch a plane from Providence to Philadelphia on my way to the Capital for Inauguration. The weather in New England has been fairly awful lately (which is to say wet, cold, and windy), but we got a brief reprieve starting last night in the form of snow. Oddly enough, snow makes it warmer. Course, when it’s 5 degrees out, getting warmer isn’t exactly a challenge.
Though the snow was rather pretty, it did make my travel plans a little more difficult. Having to walk (and then drive) through snow meant I got to the Providence airport only 25 minutes before my plane was supposed to leave. But of course, conveniently enough, once I actually managed to get on the plane they announced that our flight had been delayed an hour. Fabulous.
But anyway, it’s hard to deny the feeling that’s spreading all over the East Coast (hell, the entire continent). Having traveled so much in the past month (and twice in the last 5 days), it’s odd how much the mood continues to shift as January 20th draws nearer.
This isn’t to say that everyone is walking around with words of hope on their lips and change in their hearts, wearing American Apparel/MoveOn.org Obama t-shirts and buttons– no, it’s subtler then that. People are a little quieter, their stares a little more determined, their gates a little more confident. It is clear, if nothing else, that something in the country is shifting, and everyone is comprehending and interpreting that fact in their own way.
Of course, I’m still on the periphery. The real action is about 120 miles to the south. Here was the scene earlier this month, at the “We Are One” concert held on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, with the President-elect himself looking on:
The last estimate I heard for the crowd was 750,000. Keep in mind, this is a concert. We’re still two days out from the actual inauguration. I find it hard to imagine that the number we’ll do much less then double, maybe even triple. The thought really is incredible. A crowd of upwards of two million people in the middle of a city of 600,000, on a piece of land of around 300 acres.
That, my friends, is a– well, it’s a thing, indeed.