There was something rather soothing and reassuring about the inauguration of President Joe Biden last week, don't you think? It was as if we'd all been holding our breath but then felt able to release a huge sigh of relief.
Much is expected of him, of course. But after such chaos and confusion, anger, violence, sorrow and uncertainty, his quiet dignity brought a sense of calm and a renewed hope for the future.
So many, throughout the world, are seeking a sound, strong and wise leader and the hope is that Biden will be able to bring compassion, empathy and experience to this formidable post in these most difficult times.
He has certainly inspired nations with a spirit of change and new life evident in the installation of Kamala Harris as the first female Vice President, and the first Asian American and the first African American to be Vice President.
And in selecting Amanda Gorman to deliver the Presidential Inaugural poem.
This young woman is America's first National Youth Poet Laureate. She's just 22 but her stunning presence and assured delivery gave weight to beautiful, inspiring and rousing words which have stirred the global community.
Raised by a single mother, Amanda had a speech impediment as a child, but found that poetry unlocked her voice. Naturally it was a schoolteacher who introduced her to poetry. Something to ponder there, too
Amanda was inspired by the poet Maya Angelou, whose autobiography 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' was acknowledged in the design of the ring Amanda was wearing on the day.
She learned how to deliver her words with conviction through musical theatre, memorising the lyrics of a song from 'Hamilton'. This influence can be heard in her poem, too. The creator of 'Hamilton', Lin-Manuel Miranda sent his congratulations and encouragement to Amanda after the inauguration, saying:
"The right words in the right order can change the world...Keep changing the world, one word at the time."
Amanda Gorman's poem, 'The Hill We Climb' will be released as a hardback book this spring. Penguin Books plans to print 150,000 copies in its first run. This is an extraordinary number, warranted 'due to overwhelming demand'.
How wonderful that so many people have been moved by these words. And when so many of our creative industries have been stripped back in these difficult times, the value of film, theatre and literature to be highlighted in this way, contributing to our sense of wellbeing and purpose, has been inspiring and uplifting. It does indeed bring hope.