One of my favorite books is Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather."
The quick summary: the Hogfather has disappeared on Hogswatch Eve. As Death (yes, that Death) explains, if the children do not receive their Hogswatch gifts, they will cease to believe in the Hogfather and "The sun will not rise tomorrow."
So Death takes over for the Hogfather, delivering gifts to all the children, while his granddaughter tries her best to track down the Hogfather and return him to his post.
At one point, she asks Death if it's true that the sun wouldn't rise the next day. He says yes, it's true. When she asks what would happen instead, he explains that merely a flaming ball of gas would illuminate the sky.
This is kind of how I feel about Obama's victory, and I know this is oddly sentimental, especially for me, but there's something about what happened that was, to me, magical. I know that logically there was strategy, planning, and an immense amount of hard work, and I don't mean to discount that.
But when we went to bed Tuesday night, I turned to Cyndi and said "it's a whole new world." I didn't mean that literally, but I meant it in the sense that suddenly everything seems really different.
Racism isn't over, not by a long shot, and we're still in a hell of a mess as far as this country goes, and I mean one hell of a mess. Nothing's changed, really, except we've decided to put someone smart in the white house.
But if things had gone differently, and we'd nominated Edwards (and he hadn't turned out to be a bit of a horndog) and ended up with a President Edwards, I would have been happy. I would have been very pleased.
But I wouldn't have felt like it was a whole new world. I would have just seen the next day as another day with a gaseous ball of fire illuminating the sky.
Now the sun's rising on a whole new world and I'm looking to the future with real optimism for the first time in quite some time.