Afraid No Longer

“Tell me what democracy looks like”

“THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE”

The chants erupted in pockets to our left, to our right, the origin unclear but the response unmistakable.  Louder stronger, each reply growing with determination as the body absorbed not just the words but the power.  Faces reflected not the fear of the day before but the realization of the moment, a call to link arms and make votes that didn’t count matter now. This was not a march of haters, not a gathering of whiners, seeking to disrupt and disrespect.  The diversity of causes, colors, ages and genders showed fear will not triumph, ignorance will not govern, hope without action is no longer acceptable.  

I was smooshed within the masses for hours, often unable to speak, only accepting the energy and passion of young women and teen boys, aging women and little girls, old men and veterans, allowing their words and exhilarated faces to cleanse my soul of the terror which has settled in since election night.  Yes, I took from them all but I will give back as I go forward.  I will bring their chants and power home, to my grandson who is afraid of a bullying leader, to my friends who cried with me and wrung hands and sit with worry.  We will keep marching, we will lift up our signs, we will speak truth to power, we ARE the power.  

Clean water, access to birth control, equal education for all of our children, inclusive  safe streets regardless of skin color, reproductive rights for those who actually  do the reproducing, a free and open press, the right to love who we love, we marched for many causes but we marched together. The message those who stayed home and believe the fake news reports missed is that you don’t have to embrace every cause to speak.  You are still welcome to join us.  After all:

“THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE”

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