Right now I am still wearing my Frida Kahlo socks with my Doc Martin combat boots. I have RESIST hanging from my left earlobe and PERSIST hanging from my right, earrings my husband got me from one of my favorite local jewelers. My tote bag with the definition of Feminism silkscreened across it is hanging on a chair nearby and my homemade kitty cat ear headband is still on my head.
Right now I am not regretting, like I thought I would, how I never learned how to knit or crochet in the round last winter even though I tried one hundred times to make my own pink pussy cat hat. I hobbled through craft stores on crutches, my husband following behind me carrying my basket, in search for the perfect pink yarn and needles. Once back at home, armed with my laptop, I tried to concentrate on directions given by the many instructors on YouTube. My fingers couldn’t follow, my brain was in a million places at one and I could barely keep my eyes open from being so tired. I had just been identified with the illness that had been causing me months of pain, fogginess and fatigue. There would be no magical pink hat made by these hands. But, even without the hat I felt one amongst the crowd of women walking side by side in the street holding signs, singing protest songs in unison, and chanting “Love Not Hate” and my favorite “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!”
Right now I am remembering the people who held signs reading that they were marching for those that could not and how my chest and throat tightened up reading these messages. I was flooded with the feeling of immense gratitude. Last year I cried and my spirit sunk low as I knew that my plans to find and decorate a wheel chair so that I could go to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. would not be the best decision for my health. I missed that march, too sick and too weak. Having a chance one year later to feel the comradary of hundreds of women with the children and partners and moms and sisters packed onto the street smiling, laughing and cheering together was another way I get to celebrate having my life back again after a year of challenges.
Right now I have hope. Hearing my name at the rally being called, I looked up to see one of my third grade students standing with her Dad. Both were pushing their own separate strollers, each with one of her beautiful toddler sisters sitting inside. She wore a fluorescent pink coat and rosy fleece hat that was so long it reached her knees. “Is this your first march?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied smiling with bright eyes full of energy.