Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Multiple smiles


Even if you don’t live in the United States you might have heard that this was a very big week here. Yes, Wednesday was Inaugural Day, where we had a peaceful transition of power between Presidential administrations, based on the November election. You probably also know that this year it wasn’t so easy because the former President never conceded that he lost the election.

But this post isn’t about all that controversy. It’s about things worth smiling about.

My first broad smile on Wednesday was also laced with tears, as I watched the honor guard salute Kamala Harris as she walked with her husband toward the West Front of the Capital where she would be sworn in as Vice President. The fact that they were saluting her made me realize the importance of the moment. I was witnessing history.

Smile one.

Then there was the President’s speech, full of hope even as we face huge challenges, politically, racially and from the virus. So many things that need immediate attention. I smiled a few times while he spoke, but I smiled the deepest when he said:

“Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.”

I think this is key to our moving forward as a nation. I don’t think it will be easy, we’ve all pretty much entrenched ourselves in our respective views. But suppose, just for a moment, that we could try to put what we believe aside and ask pertinent questions and then listen to the answers from those that think differently from us. Just suppose what we might be able to accomplish.

Smile two.

And of course there’s Amanda Gorman, America’s Youth Poet Laureate. She radiated fire and hope and possibility and made me smile as soon as she stepped up to the lectern. She was spellbinding, both her words and her movement making their points so fast I was afraid I was missing something and I focused in a way I haven’t for a very long time.

I read her poem in full the next day and realized I had indeed heard every bit of it, but it’s something I think we’d all do well to read periodically. There’s something to be learned and understood in her words. Right now my favorite lines:

“Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished”

“That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division”

“A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation”

And of course the end…

“The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”

Yes, Amanda Gorman made me smile, through tears I admit, the broadest of all. Because she represents the future of our country. And just see what we have to look forward to!

Smile three.

And then, as just a bit of an extra smile this week, a Carolina wren landed on my feeder this morning.

Just to make sure my week kept on smiling.

What made you smile this week? Write a quick post and link it by Sunday to Trent’s blog so we can all smile together!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “Multiple smiles

  1. Amanda Gorman blew me away, too! She was one of so many “Wow”s that day!


  2. The Inauguration, the after-party with Tom Hanks as host…..I was smiling and crying all day. Wednesday was a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Respectful behaviour, is that really so hard for everyone to do? We don’t always have to agree but can’t we be respectful. It was an inspiring day.


    • I know. I thought for a long time that at least we would all be respectful when we talked politics, that’s pretty much the way it’s been in my family…when any of us realized during a conversation that the other person was from the opposite viewpoint we backed away quietly and respectfully and didn’t push. But that respect all got lost during these past years, and now it seems OK to publicly and privately attack people that were once friends and I just don’t understand that. It’s still shocking to me the things people have said to each other in the name of party.


  4. It was a day to be remembered for sure. I enjoyed the full day show at CNN and mostly how Bernie Sanders shone wearing a simple mitten. Now, the internet is full of Bernie all over the world. My fav was a cat on his lap.


  5. What a week! Like you, I am still aglow because of the inauguration on Wednesday. I didn’t think anything could match Obama’s first Inauguration, but Joe Biden’s certainly did. Your lovely post captured the hope and beauty of Biden’s inauguration.


  6. Feelings of hope, proud to see dignity, thrilled to see Kamala’s obvious joy, goosebumps listening to Amanda which repeat every time I see or hear her words.


  7. Here is to hope and civility; looking forward to a bright future for everyone. It was a wonderful event. Just two weeks before it seemed so dark, and then, the clouds seemed to part.

    As an aside, Kamala was my first pick for the (first in the nation 😉 ) NH primaries, but she dropped out before they occurred. I think I chose Amy because I didn’t want an old white guy…. I’m glad Kamala made history the way she did 🙂


    • I’m not thrilled by old and white and guy myself…but I think this particular old white guy was a better choice for me than the other old white guy. In fact I was disappointed that our choice was between two old white guys. But we’re closer to recognizing diversity now than we were before. Baby steps I guess. I’m happy that I can imagine her running the country if she has to. When McCain chose Palin I was appalled at the thought that she might be President. Not because she was a woman but because she appeared to be a ditz. This is a rambling answer to say I agree with you. I think Amy K. would have been a good choice too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Dawn,

    Your post was beautifully written and conveyed how many of us felt on Inauguration Day. I too, was very emotional smiling and crying while watching the ceremony. Happy tears of hope, gratitude, and love for our country. I was so very proud to watch Kamala make history while being sworn into office, and very moved by Amanda’s poem. But most of all for Biden being a good, decent man who is committed to making positive changes. His speech was very hopeful and moving. It was almost cathartic to cry happy tears after feeling sickened by the dark happenings two weeks prior.

    I know what you mean about having to think before talking current events with some friends and family. I have decided to not bring up politics. The days of lively, friendly debate are gone. 😊


  9. It was a day to remember, indeed. We were shopping up in Houghton and listening to the inauguration between stores. Every time we listened I would start to tear up with emotion. Was so choked up went into the co-op without a mask! Yikes! Big apologies about that one…


  10. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 1/18 – 1/24/2021 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  11. I teared up at Amanda Gorman’s poetry and remarkable delivery too. 😊


  12. Amen! Thanks Dawn. I sat mesmerized while Amanda Gorman spoke. And since then have put her poem further back in my mind. I will now go find it and read it … and print it and keep it. And Kamala … oh there is hope.


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