Before I even knew I was going to Washington, DC to witness the swearing-in of our new President, I knew I would be an emotional basket case wherever I was. Seeing as how I cried a trail of tears from my living room to my bathroom to my kitchen, back to my living room on November 4, 2008, I could pretty much guess that I'd be a mess when it became official.
Standing outside among millions of people for the Inauguration, I can't deny that I was more fixated on the guy's elbow in my back and the woman with the distracting pon-pom hat than I was the ceremony itself. Every two minutes or so, I caught an excellent view of the jumbo tron, but the audio wasn't working on my side. My fingers and toes were numb and I kept fooling with my scarf because it kept falling from my face. It wasn't a comfortable situation. Not at all like laying on my sofa with a glass of Riesling and a slice of cheesecake. (That was my initial plan.)
From the Pre-Inaugural Concert on Sunday to the screen hanging in China Town, every time anyone in the Obama family was shown on camera, the crowd went wild. I was no exception either. Leading up the ceremony cameras were on Diddy, Bey and Jay and countless others as they walked to their seats to get a glimpse of history. After awhile, I'd grown tired of the screaming (except for Malia and Sasha). My throat was hurting and the scarf covering my mouth and nose muffled my cheers anyway.
Then it happened.
Barack Obama was walking down the hallway of the Lincoln Memorial.
Did you see That Walk??????
Maybe I can paint the picture for you. He was walking. Straight ahead. A certain stride in his step. Shoulders back. Head up. Full of pride. Full of accomplishment. A Black man. Yeah, I said it.
Damn. Did you see it?
Even more than that, did you feel it? I felt like I was about to be President.
The look on his face was pleasant. Yet unstoppable. Unbeatable. As my Mama would always say, "Some people, you can just see the God in them." No, I am not saying he is God. He is a man. Only God is the Messiah. But I do believe He uses people to do things and inspire people. Perhaps, Mr. President is one wise enough to know when he is being used for a higher purpose. Just maybe that's what that walk was about.
At that moment, I knew that all of the fanfare and star-studded hoopla wasn't for nothing. It was for something real.
In the cold, at that one specific moment...not when he placed his hand on Lincoln's Bible, not when he said, 'So, help me, God', but with that walk....a stream of tears rolled from my eyes. I didn't even wipe them away.
I will never forget that walk.