This past Saturday, January 21, more than 1 million people across the United States and the rest of the world marched in protest of policies President Trump is vowing to put in place. It has been 30 years since I’ve attended a demonstration but I think protecting the rights and freedoms that are the basis of our democracy is crucial, so I roused myself and decided to go to the Boston Women’s March with a friend. I even knitted pink “pussy hats” at the urging of my nieces and brought them along—reluctantly. I don’t like pink, I don’t like the word “pussy” and I don’t like feeling ridiculous.
On the train
The first surprise was finding that the MBTA train in Lakeville, Massachusetts was packed with people of all ages heading for Boston. As we pulled in to South Station, my friend Heidi and I decided to put on our pink hats while others unrolled signs they had brought and passed around photos to hold up during the march. Boston Common, which is surrounded by a beautiful wrought iron fence, was packed with people—175,000 people. It was comforting to know that so many others cared about the future of our country and wanted to stand together to let our president and Congress to know that. What it is impossible to know is what will come of all the protests. Where do we go from here?
Today I read a meditation written by a friend, Nick Browning, M.D., on the meaning of the Boston march. He and his wife had also been there and he left wondering, as I did, what will happen next. Here’s an excerpt from what Dr. Browning wrote: “Maybe we [are] facing something more ominous even than an unqualified man: a system that could no longer work as it should….Are our apprehensions real or imagined? And if they are real, what are we to do? Marches, after all, will not save us. Deeply thoughtful reflection and remarkable wisdom are needed to bring us to a better place. Wisdom’s voice, unfortunately, is often soft and not easily heard. We had better listen for it very carefully in the next several years.”