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Sunday, January 22, 2017

I'm with her.

I am so proud of my town I could burst! In a huge snowstorm, with temperatures just emerging from days below zero, with snow sitting two feet deep and roads barely plowed; 2,000 women and men tromped through the snow to march for human rights.

Thank you, Anchorage.

Oh, friends and I had traveled the “What’s the use?” path, the “I hate marches” groan, even the “What if it’s 9° below?” complaint. But ultimately, it was the “Stand up and be counted” refrain that spoke to us all.

So I pulled out the paints, brushes, and butcher paper, my supplies for all the signs and banners I’ve made over the years. Mostly, they’ve been “Congratulations!” or “Happy Birthday,” but this time, I wanted to say everything important. I wanted my sign to speak loudly, to put my heart and mind out there. To make visible all the hopes I’ve had for our world, and how devastated I am at these steps backward.

I didn’t want to be negative. I didn’t want to be trite. I wanted to cover a lot. How could I fit in my fears about climate change? About reproductive rights? Even about public school funding! In the end, I just ended up being boring, but I was colorful!

Do you know what it feels like to be in a crowd of 2,000 people who all wish each other life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness no matter whom they love, what color they are, and where they came from? In this country where we battle discrimination and harassment for all those things – and the likelihood the battle will only get uglier – this was a friendly, welcoming gathering. A warm oasis in two feet of snow.

How do I know I’m in my Third Third?

This one moved me because my daughter was out marching, too. And my sisters and my brother in all their cities around the world. My mother – Another Mother for Peace – would have been proud.

I can’t remember the exact wording of this sign, but it looked just like this and was one of my favorites:

But then I realized this march wasn’t only about fear and anger; it was about camaraderie and support and standing together:

That’s really it. So I’m sending this blog post to my senators and congressman because they have to know we’re here and we’re numerous and we’re motivated. I’m with her and her … and her and her. And we’re not giving up.

4 comments:

  1. I marched with more than 3000 people in cold Traverse City, Michigan! And I felt all those same emotions. We are healing and gathering strength for the marathon ahead.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this with our delegation Barbara. What a great idea. I can't believe I'm still doing this after protesting for human rights over 40 years ago in South Africa!

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  3. I marched here in Orange County and while in the middle of the crowd of totally ethnically diverse people (about 20,000) I thought of your mother too.

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