On Saturday morning, I woke up to lightning streaking across the sky and rain pelting my dorm room window. It was early, around eight or so, and I wasn’t exactly sure why I couldn’t sleep through such dreary weather as usual other than the fact, I quickly remembered, that it was a Very Important Day. It was the day I had been looking forward to for months, had carefully written down in my planner with a hot pink pen. It was the day of the Women’s March.
I met my friends in the rain and we sprinted to the dining hall for lunch. After receiving notice of the rain delay, we ate second helpings of breakfast food and watched the sky outside miraculously clear. Then we made our way straight down the road to the Center for Civil Rights, where the march was to begin.
When we arrived, it was already so incredibly crowded that we couldn’t even find the supposed speakers. Supposed, because, were they really there? We didn’t know. Instead we took pictures and embraced the excitement, support, dissatisfaction, strength, and surge of energy that the crowd, with its humorous, creative, threatening, hopeful, and even sad signs, provided. The electricity surrounding us had nothing to do with the storm clouds looming overhead.
After an hour and a half of waiting for the march to actually start, these feeling turned anxious, the cheers turned impatient and pressing. Finally we were told that the speakers were making their way to the from to lead the masses, and we finally began our climb up the hill and towards the Capitol building an hour and a half away.
Being in the march itself was incredible. We were like a river of defiance and solidarity, breaking over a dam of hatred and restraint. We chanted, cheered, laughed. Some people played instruments, everyone held signs, some walked quickly, slowly, danced, pushed wheelchairs, everyone was peaceful. There were thousands upon thousands of our fellow marchers up and down the road where we stood; every new altitude or bend in the road exposed an endless stream of people. Being on the street in such numbers was like being embraced, contained, assured. Safe, despite the threats that brought us here together, safe amongst each other and our shared cause, our differences but our shared and equal humanity.
A feeling of resistance ran rampant, but even stronger was one of hope. Hope amidst the storm clouds, hope in every single person present. Once we reached the Capitol, we all dispersed, heading in waves to our various destinations. But it was, still is, impossible to feel separated or alone.