I left home Saturday morning at 4:30am and drove to Charleston to take a flight to DC for the Women's March. A rabbit, a raccoon and a few deer were the only witnesses at that early hour; Larry was still tucked in and sleeping and lights were off in the neighbors' homes I passed.
I've been trying to get a handle on all that I saw and heard. What to tell you about? What propelled half a million people to converge on one city on a January day?
I knew there were a few other marches but was stunned to learn just how many places and how many people were marching at the same time, all across the world. Click here to see photos of many of them. My pictures are not nearly so good, some are fuzzy and dark, but I'll post them here anyway.
When we got to the DC airport it became immediately obvious that something very big, bigger than anyone had expected, was happening. People were pouring in, many of them--men and women alike--wearing pink hats. They were smiling and happy. Waves of cheers rose and fell in swells of voice.
We disembarked, and crowded across platforms to the escalators. Cheers echoed up and down the Metro tunnels and signs began to be unfurled.
A man with a speaker preached about Jesus, a large group of young people chanted in unison: the young men shouting "Her Body. Her Choice" and the girls responding "My Body. My Choice." And everyone excited and laughing, polite, helping each other. A small group of Trump supporters chanted that Feminism is Rebellion. We agreed!
I looked for my granddaughter, but cell service went out with such huge demand and there was no way to find her. I looked for some of my many friends from all over the country who planned to be there but I never saw one person I knew. And it was fine. I talked to people from Canada, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and many other states. Everyone felt as I did--it was important to be there. Men were almost as numerous as women, there were as many young people as old. This was no single-race, single-agenda crowd.
There was no paper in the toilet but I was prepared--the pre-march literature had told us to bring our own. I passed what I had left to the next lady in line and headed for the train.
|His sign reads "Immigrants get the job done"|
This time there was no chanting, just excited, euphoric conversations, people so very pleased to have been there, to have seen this huge, peaceful gathering, to have made a statement. Word began to spread of the marches around the world. My phone died and I mentioned to my seatmate, a Vietnamese woman about my age, that I might have a hard time finding my sister, who was to pick me up when I got to the station. When she heard that my sister lived in her same town, she offered to give me a ride, even though there were already 5 people in her small car. I was touched but told her I'd be fine. As I left the station I saw my sister pull up. Perfect timing.
I have been trying to process all of this, find out why I felt so affirmed. Perhaps it was because of the many people who said, we need to do this. We need to speak up. We need to be heard. We need to act. I don't know. The other day I wrote about why I was going. I didn't expect to come home with more reasons as to why I was there.
I ached all over by the end. Feet, hips, knees. My voice was and my nose was running. I was hungry and thirsty and completely happy and satisfied. I had done it. I had gone to the march, I had joined my voice with thousands of others expressing their opinions in this glorious free country.
I was one small witness to history.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.