Marching

On Saturday, January 21st, Grace and I left our house at about 10:30 to head into Boston to join the march.  There was a couple behind us in pink hats as we walked down our street to the T stop.  It was crowded at the T stop, and it was slow going down the escalators to the trains.  It started to dawn on me that a lot of people were there.  We had to wait for a couple of trains to go by because only a couple of people could squeeze into the cars, and the platform was jammed.

Finally we got into a car.  As we made our way into Boston, slowly because there were a lot of unusual stops (presumably because the car ahead of us couldn’t shut its doors when trying to leave the station ahead of us), the people in our T car began to sing.  First, We Shall Overcome.  Then, This Land is Our Land.  I had tears rolling down my cheeks within moments.

We got off the T in Boston and made our way slowly down Charles Street towards the Boston Common.  The streets were packed with people walking, holding signs and wearing pink, men and women both. When we got to the Common, we found a corner to stand and Grace climbed the gate so she could see more.  As far as the eye could see: people.  Old, young, male, female, families. There were many fantastic signs, about 95% of which were positive in nature.

I was moved to tears over and over again during the day.  There was a tangible energy in the air, of cooperation and support, of love and energy and, yes, resistance.  But it was peaceful and strong and diverse. I’m a Bostonian through and through, and there are many times this city has moved me. The parades and the tragedies and the triumphs.  All of it.  But Saturday felt different, somehow, soft while still being resolved, determined. There were so many people, and yet it was calm, peaceful.

I kept looking at Grace and several of her friends, most of them 14 now, thinking about how they will vote in the next presidential election, about how I desperately want our country to be what they deserve.  Grace is paying attention.  I was so proud to watch her as she watched the crowd, noticed signs, and sensed the energy around her. I don’t know that I have a specific conclusion other than to say I was tremendously moved to be a tiny part of the tidal wave that was this past weekend.  When I heard people chanting “This is what democracy looks like” I felt a frisson of acknowledgement, deep and true, that I believe that, and also of how far parts of our leadership have drifted from that.

In the days since Saturday I’ve seen one quote over and over again on social media.  My mother gave me a pillow years ago with these same words on it, and I love them:

Here’s to strong women.
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them.

Amen.  I’m grateful to be flanked by strong women in my own family, and I am more thankful than I can express to have been a small part of Saturday’s demonstration.


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5 Comments

  1. Justine
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you had a good experience! It looks like though your position might have been worse for viewing the rally, it would have been better than our place for marching. We rode on a bus with my church so got there early and were close to the stage, but then we stood in place for 1.5 hr waiting to march. But it was all worth it! So great talking to people, seeing how everyone chose to dress and express themselves. And what great weather! I’ve been having a bit of march hangover this week, but I’m trying to do something small every day to keep the momentum going. I feel most melancholy when I think of how I could have been doing these things when Obama was President, and how I failed to back him up. But as with all sorrow, it helps me highlight my joy as well (as in the Anne Lamott quote from your earlier post, about shadows and light. So beautiful and true).

    admin Reply:

    I’m grateful to know you were there, too. xoxo

  2. CC
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Oh, Lindsey, I’m so glad you and Grace were there, too. I was also moved to tears a number of times by poignant, sometimes small, occurrences or gestures all around me. Everyone was so mellow, positive, and resolved, some with anger simmering but held in wary check (it’s warranted!). I’ve taken overnight buses many times to Washington for marches in support of women, of LGBT people, against wars, but this felt so different and affirmative and reassuring. We ARE paying attention. I was so proud of my city (Cambridge/Boston) and my state. Did you see the Globe article (http://bit.ly/2jZ9ai8) about the preservation and digitization of 1,000 of the signs? I loved the diversity, clarity, strength, and humor of so, so many signs! Many, many more than I’ve seen in any other march. I look forward to finding my own next steps of action and reflection and take a focused breath lots of times these days alongside the new president’s actions and undoings.

    admin Reply:

    I will read this – thank you! And yes, yes, and yes. xox

  3. Janet
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    So glad you and Grace were a part of history. I took my 12 yr. old to witness/participate in DC’s “huge” (pun intended but it was an incredible amount of people) march. All the same experiences as you and moved to tears multiple times. The signs were great and at the end of the march hundreds were left, propped-up against the fence, at Trump’s new hotel here in the city. A fitting end…

  4. Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Such an incredible account of a historic day. So glad you wrote about it!

  5. Anya
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I knit a bunch of hats to give to friends and strangers alike, but I didn’t make one for myself because my own ability to attend was kind of last-minute. When I realized that I could go after all, my 6’2″+ straight white male 16-year-old son asked whether he could go too. He was my babysitter– husband at work, daughter at dance class– so that meant my little guys would be joining us too. Then my daughter decided to jettison dance class for a day. In short, 5 of the 6 of us were at our local march– none of us in pink hats despite all my knitting. 🙂 It didn’t matter– in the sea of pink, singing “America the Beautiful,” this immigrant felt so much belonging and hope. Let’s hope we all keep it up. I was uplifted and energized and ready to keep going.

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