My daughter and I pay attention. We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud, and complex as we were made to be. P 11
Tomorrow is the day to march. I have friends going to Boston, DC and our capitol, Montpelier. I’ve made a pink hat and passed it on to a friend, then immediately cast on for another.
This evening M called home and said that our friend had gone into labor. We know she is expecting a girl, so I cast on a hat for her instead. Fortunately baby hats are small and are quick to finish. Another baby soon to be in this world, proof that we need to keep moving on.
But the moving forward is not easy, especially when the fears of the future grip your feet. There’s a whirling dervish of activity circling us all and I can’t seem to move. I wish I was marching tomorrow, putting one foot in front of the other, but I am working. I’m trying to take solace in the fact that our actions need to last beyond one day of protesting.
In my despair and all of the swirling chaos I’m finding solidarity in friends, specifically my female friends. This week I took my dear blogmate out to dinner, I sat in a room full of women of all ages and toasted a birthday girl, and I ended the week by sitting with two of my knitters while we worked on our pink hats. The library used to host a knitting club for the kids on Fridays and this felt like a hearkening back to old times. It was good to sit for a minute and just let my hands work the needles.
Today I helped a woman with a cane work the photocopier. She lost her husband years ago, but she comes to the library often for books and to attend our French conversational group. She always has time for a kind word for me.
Today I hugged one of our volunteers, because our clothes matched and she’s such a dear and it felt good to be close to another person for a moment. Well, longer than a moment—it was a good, full-body hug.
Today I worried about what to write and what to do and how to help people. After school I saw the girls sit at a table and watched them pull out the colored pencils and start to sketch on blank pieces of paper. They welcomed an autistic boy to come sit with them, even though he stated quite loudly that drawing is boring. Yet he sat in their circle and enjoyed the nearness of them.
On any given day I am among girls and women of all ages: newborns, teens and retirees. There’s an unspoken bond between us. We recognize each others’ struggles and joys as our own. I don’t know if my college days of being at an all-women’s school fully prepared me for the world that we find ourselves in now. But being there did show me how to find strength in our similarities and our differences.
I’ve started a new practice this year, writing down one good thing every day. I spend my commute home trying to decide which moment to archive. I’ve discovered that the old adage is true—to a hammer everything looks like a nail. To a woman with a journal each moment glistens like a jewel. But in order to find them you have to sift through the garbage and the waste. You have to pay attention and notice your surroundings. This week I became more aware of the women who surround my life. The way they mentor me, make me laugh and commiserate when I need it most. I love my husband and my son, but there are times when I am the alien living on another planet.
Tomorrow we march, for in my heart I am there too. Pink hat on my head, comfortable shoes on my feet, linking arms with the women next to me. Feminists to our very core.