Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More on the March: Tuesday's Reflection

Perhaps you have seen enough photographs from Saturday's
Women's Marches, but how could I write a new post and not give my own report?

I was prepared for the day.  I sat in my morning silence, saying prayers for the safety of all who marched today. I charged my phone and packed my backpack with apples and water and homemade gingersnap cookies. I wore sturdy walking shoes and thought carefully about how to stay warm and dry. 

But how could I have prepared for the kind of day it turned out to be? 100,000 people marching just in St Paul. 

As we drove along our stately Summit Avenue towards the starting position of the march, I recalled coming to St Paul from St Olaf my senior year in college to participate in an anti-Vietnam War march. We marched along Summit Avenue, and I remember thinking how beautiful it was, never dreaming someday this would be my neighborhood. I remembered marching to the Minnesota Capitol a few years later to hear Dr Benjamin Spock speak at an anti-war rally. We pushed our daughter Kate, just a toddler, in a stroller, and now here I was marching with her and her teenage daughter, my granddaughter. 

There have been other marches over the years as well, but this was not a day for nostalgia. This was not a day of protest, even though it was reported that way and even though it would have been hard, if not impossible, to find anyone who was happy Trump had just been sworn in as our president. 

This was a day of support. Support of women's rights. Support of human rights. This was a day to chant, "This is what democracy looks like." 

A friend wondered if the day will matter. Perhaps it will only infuriate Trump more, after all the numbers of people marching in the DC march alone were much higher than those who were present for his inauguration. Perhaps the messages of today will only make Trump more determined to put us all in our place. Good luck, I say! 

One sign announced with just a bit of sarcasm, but also warning, "Don't forget to turn back your clocks---300 hundred years!" It is clear that will not be allowed.

What I felt was connection. I felt connected to those marching in Washington DC and Phoenix and LasVegas and Chicago and Boston and Paris and London and Prague and Nairobi and Tel Aviv and all the other cities in our country and all over the world. I felt connected to all the women of the past who fought for women's rights. I felt connected to the women of the future, the girls of today, who will protect this legacy. I felt connected to all those who feel they don't have a voice or are afraid their voice is about to be squelched. I felt connected to the energy and wisdom of raised voices and marching feet all over the world. 

This connection made me think about a quote in Mary Oliver's book, Upstream. "Do you think there is anything not attached by its unbreakable cord to anything else?" We are all one. 

The question remains, "what's next?" of course, but this was a pretty good start. 

An Invitation
Where will this marching lead you? I would love to know. 

NOTE: Thanks to Bruce who was our chauffeur and braved the crowds to pick us up. No small task. 


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