The prevailing of democracy, the shattering of a glass ceiling, the calls for unity from the same stage where the last president called for, and later incited, carnage — in so many ways the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris was a balm to the wounds of the nation. Biden is a leader who is remarkable in his capacity for emotion, and his tone and speech reflected that, as well as his focus on uniting a divided people during racial unrest and a global pandemic. The words of Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old national youth poet laureate, who recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” —  updated after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — reminded us: “But while democracy can be periodically delayed / It can never be permanently defeated.” 

• From shutting down the Legislature for security reasons to hastening the distribution of the COVID vaccine for life and death reasons, Gov. Kate Brown is doing a fine job. The angrier the right-wing anti-maskers and extremists get about her, the more it’s clear she’s trying to make good choices for the well-being of all, not just a few. We applaud her and continue to wonder where she will go in 2022 when her term ends. Hopefully, to the Biden administration, if that is what she wants to do.

What we’re eating: country loaf from the Camas Mill Bakery north of Eugene off Highway 99. This is so good that a friend ate nearly a whole loaf for his dinner. Is it better than Hideaway Bakery’s or Metropol’s best dark loaf? Those are fighting words! You decide and let us know.

He was, of course, the worst of us, and we may never outlive the cruelty and angst that former President Donald Trump spread throughout this country these past four years. The ooze has seeped down to ordinary citizens and forced neighbors and friends to turn their backs on each other. Now he’s gone, and we can take a breath. The coming years will not be easy, but the competence and empathy that President Joe Biden demonstrates by the day at least offers hope.

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