Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped that joining the Women’s March in Sacramento would make me feel better. But I wasn’t prepared. No pink pussy hat, or sign, just a few Hillary buttons on a pink flannel shirt and some Be Kind stickers in my pocket. I’d made tentative plans with a few friends, and the night before we were all on the fence. Rain was forecast, and we were all feeling old and tired. I wasn’t sure I would even go. But on Saturday morning I woke up and texted Steve’s cousin, Lynn (who’s been one of my best friends forever) and told her I was in. We actually skipped the march part and went straight to the rally at the State Capitol. Lynn’s friends, Julie and Mike (also our friends, since before we all had daughters who are now grown and flown) delivered us to the Capitol steps. Mike knows the Capitol well, and kept us moving for a better view (also, a chance to meet and take a photo with his friend, the new mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg). We stayed a few hours, and left feeling inspired, hopeful and yes, empowered and energized.
This is what I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect there to be so many people my age. Older women, who know what is at stake, who can’t believe we’re still having to fight for these rights. I didn’t expect to see so many men, and kids, and dogs. I didn’t expect the crowd to be so diverse. And I certainly didn’t expect the size of the crowd (20,000-30,000). I didn’t expect to be so delighted by the signs. I didn’t expect to feel so connected to others in my community. I didn’t expect the connection to carry throughout the country and around the world, as photos of others in pink hats, with signs and flags, started filling my Facebook and Instagram feeds.
I didn’t expect to leave the day feeling like I wasn’t alone. That we are enough to fight this. That our collective power will make a difference. That we can protect ourselves. Because we are women, that’s why (and shout out to the men who are marching with us).
Also, I am going to ask my mom to knit a set of pink pussy hats for us. Because next time, I will be be prepared!