Protect our progress

Alert: This post is political.

I can not begin to describe the overwhelming feelings I had exiting the Judiciary Square metro this morning on the way to the Women's March in Washington. Riding up the escalator the chanting started, and there was a sea of pink hats and people with signs protesting.

Being in Washington one gets used to these things. I have been to Inauguration celebrations before- Clinton and Obama- standing in the cold weather for hours to catch a glimpse of a limousine  with my kids. And I'm used to seeing protests.

Yesterday was a somber day- a gray day when I was numb and resigned as I watched a rhetorical speech on my TV. I turned off the news after hearing Trump and left descriptions of the parade to others. I had done my civic duty and wanted to watch no more.

But today, today was different. It was a gray misty day in the Capitol- not a ray of sunshine- yet the spirit was high and my hopes were lifted. The crowds were massive and being short, I really could not see a thing. At times it was a bit scary as the crowds were so overwhelming and I could see how easy it would be for panic to set in. But everyone was wonderful. No pushing, no complaining, no angry taunts. And the variety of people was a delight to see. Diversity was the word of the day.

It made me feel hopeful that we will not just lay down and let things happen to us. It made me smile to see so many young people there- so many caring young women and men where this might have been their first march. And it made me happy to see my age group well represented, like the "good old days".

The last time I marched I went with my mom and my young daughter. Today I marched with my husband and Max and Les were somewhere in the crowd. The last time I marched was for the Million Moms March against guns and I was carrying my young daughter around. Today I marched for women who could not be there for so many reasons, my mom, Jody, Anna, Suzie and a whole raft of others. And I was so pleased to know that women around the world were marching all at the same time.

I do not believe this is a country full of hate. Today I saw a country full of hope that our democracy has a chance to work if we all work together. I do not believe that our world is full of distrust and decay. That is not to say that we do not have many many things that need to be fixed. But it confirmed in my mind that Hope is a better motivator than Carnage and decay.

Riding home on the Metro this afternoon, I know that the work is just starting. I know I will have to devote time and energy and money to move things is a direction that I feel is more positive. After seeing the hundreds of thousands of people marching today, I know we can do it.