I almost didn't march today.
Here's why: It had been a busy work week. On top of that, I rock climbed on Wednesday night, celebrated Deb's birthday on Thursday night, and went to a housewarming party on Friday night. I expected this weekend to be jam-packed as well.
It was too much leg time. I was exhausted. Just thinking about the Women's March pushed me over the edge.
"I can't do it all," I told my mom last night. "I need to skip something, and that's the one event where I won't be missed."
The Women's March would be happening in all 50 states. I am just one person. Mathematically, I wouldn't matter a whole lot.
But when morning arrives, I can't explain it. I just KNOW I should be there.
|This is what HOPE looks like!|
And that's just the beginning. From there, we join the marchers -- a solid MILE of people!
|How could you NOT follow this family?!|
|Thanks for the hats,|
Chants surround us:
Women's rights are human rights!
Black lives matter!
This is what democracy looks like!
...and so many more.
Signs bounce like buoys above our heads!
I don't like crowds, yet I feel safe in this one. Reinforced. Protected. Like everyone might be a friend.
|There are some things we all agree on!|
Another sign up ahead (too far for a photo) catches my eye. It says: If this ship is going down, we might as well have a parade.
Yesterday I watched the inauguration from the rehab gym, and that's exactly what I thought. This ship is going down. As the Obamas said goodbye, and Trump was sworn in, I turned up the treadmill. I rowed faster on the rowing machine. I did abs, and arms, and pull-ups, and push-ups. A few people asked why I was so intense. (Usually, I just hang out and chat with everyone!)
"I have to get ready," I said. "Life as we know it is over." I was only half-joking. I felt this urgent need to get stronger, to be able to survive when things go awry.
I imagined the restricted world in The Handmaid's Tale, and the lonely wilderness in Station Eleven, and the insidious suppression in The Nightingale, and the post-apocalyptic darkness in The Bone Clocks. Ok, maybe I read too much. Or maybe I catastrophize too much. But in that hour of TV coverage, I pictured all the things that could go terribly WRONG in the next four years and beyond.
The Women's March pushes those thoughts away.
At Mile 4,760, I don't think this ship is going down at all. Not here. Not with all these caring, kind, intelligent, open-minded, and resourceful passengers aboard!
Yes, I'm still worried. Yes, I still feel the need to be on guard.
And yes, I can see many more marches in my future. Because along with all the messages today, I can never forget this one:
And I thought my voice wouldn't matter?
One voice matters. Every voice matters.
And that's why I marched.