I am speechless with joy. So is everyone in my world. A message this morning from my friend Thalassa said, “I’m in love with my country again.”

I know what you mean, and it feels intoxicating. The crowd in Grant Park. The euphoric celebrations everywhere, even overseas. The newspaper headlines (The Morgen Post in Hamburg featured a full page picture of Bush with the headline, “The Madness Has Ended.”) Wow, wow, wow.

My daughter Kellin is in Italy. How can I adequately explain to her what has happened here in her absence? This is a new kind of optimism, much deeper than the hopefulness I felt when Clinton won his first term in office. Imagine! We now have a president with a brain and a heart. A leader who wants to end this horrible war in Iraq. (Please, oh please make that happen.) A leader who has the savvy to comandeer one of the most successful political campaigns in this country’s history but does not carry the odor of drunken power lust that usually accompanies such stellar success. He is unlike any other political figure I have known.

There was a time when I was afraid none of my children would ever have the experience of feeling hope in their country. They endured 8 years of their early adulthoods living through the worst administration in our nation’s history. Their excitement at the sea change we have witnessed still makes me teary.

And how about that New York Times op ed page this morning? Five poems and one prose column. It seems a fitting response to a legendary night’s events.

The only fly in the ointment (as my grandmother used to say) is the passage of Proposition 8 in California. I can’t believe my home state would step back from the new world order of equality that we need to create. This is a major loss, to be sure, but the fight continues. I know justice will prevail eventually but let’s just hope it doesn’t take a generation.