On Christmas eve 103 years ago my grandfather waited in the dark, dank cell.
He sailed by steamship across the Pacific Ocean from India to America.
When he landed on American shores, the immigration officials saw his dark skin, his tall turban worn as a part of his Sikh faith and saw him not a brother but as foreign, as suspect, and threw him behind bars where he languished for months.
He stayed in jail until a lawyer, ‘a white man,’ helped him.
Yes Rabbi, the future is dark, on this watch night, I close my eyes and I see the darkness of my grandfather’s cell.
And I can feel the spirit of ever rising optimism (in the Sikh tradition ‘Chardi Kala’) within him. So the mother in me asks, ‘What if? What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?…. What is this is our country’s great transition?
What if our America is not dead? But a country that is waiting to be born. What if the story of America is one long labor?