Last week, I lost all hope for America. Like every other feeling human being out there, the stories of families being separated at the border had left me dumbfounded. Can this really be happening, in America, in this day and age? Yes, it can.

On Thursday morning I heard the song, It’s a Wonderful World.

This song usually fills me with joy. On this occasion, it didn’t. It actually sent me into a spiral, at the end of which I sadly concluded that it really isn’t a wonderful world at all. It’s actually pretty crap. I’m living a wonderful life in a really crappy world.

And so, when I boarded a plane to New York that afternoon, to join my husband for my stepdaughter’s Grade 5 graduation, I felt pretty hopeless — and a bit icky, to be honest. Were it not for the family I have in the U.S., I’d gladly not set foot in Trump territory again.

But then I found a glimmer of hope.

On Friday morning, Marc and I hailed a taxi in Manhattan, where the only photograph I managed to capture of One World Trade Center — formerly referred to as the Freedom Tower — portrayed it in a veil of fog (how fitting). Twenty minutes later, we arrived in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, for Attie Blu’s highly anticipated graduation ceremony.

Hope for America

Photo credit: Viv Singer

That’s where I found it. I found hope for America in the voices of the 16 children who opened the ceremony by saying, one after the other, each in a different language, “Welcome to PS 29.” English was last in turn, by no coincidence, I am sure.

I found hope for America in the speeches of the five confident children who took to the podium to share their PS 29 stories, all of them reflecting, in their unique ways, on the kindness their teachers had shown, the kinship they’d experienced with their peers, and the readiness they felt for the next step in their young lives.

And I found hope for America in the bright faces and joyful voices of one hundred or so 10- and 11-year-olds as they stood tall and sang, with incredible conviction, This is Me.

Hope for America - This is Me

As I watched these children singing their beautiful little hearts out, so full of passion, promise and innocence, my heart ached for them. It ached over the thought of them growing up and not being able to sing It’s a Wonderful World like they really mean it. But it also soared.

Looking around at the parents in this open-hearted, open-minded community — many of them teary-eyed — I imagined that the lessons of love and equality that they work so hard to instill in their children might, just might, one day serve to conquer the lack of humanity in today’s not-so-wonderful world. One day, perhaps, love will prevail.

For you, Attie Blu, I must believe there is hope for America.

Viv for today xo

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