I was looking forward to watching the inauguration address on television today, seated comfortably by the wood stove, but there was a change of plans. Instead, I went out in the 6 degree (F) weather and reported to our local government the progress I've made on the local history project. I also got a quick tour of archival materials in the courthouse attic. (I've seen some really interesting attics in the last six months.)
The satellite news channels steadfastly refuse to replay President Obama's speech, but I have found it posted on the Web. (This is an unofficial version from Yahoo.com; the text as delivered may have been different.) Whatever else this administration brings, I am looking forward to some elegant oratory, and I was delighted to find a sewing metaphor--frugal, homey patchwork.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus--and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.