Unless you've been in a coma you know about the strange confluence of events last weekend. Friday was the presidential inauguration, a day of moderate crowds and a disappointing speech that was dark, angry, and blustery—no surprise if you've been following the campaign. I didn't watch but I knew what was happening and I tried hard to stay busy and not think about it. At 3 p.m., the hour on the west coast when the changeover became official, I burst into tears.
A day later, a Saturday like no other, we turned on our TV and saw images of the amazing Women's march. A march that filled the Washington D.C. mall and side streets with women in pink pussyhats and signs representing every imaginable cause. But this was only the beginning. As the day went on there were hundreds of "sister" marches across the globe and millions of women and men participating.
I joined my daughter and granddaughter and their friends in Portland and stood in the mud and pouring rain with thousands of others for almost three hours, before reluctantly dragging my soaked clothes and cold body back home. But it was a glorious and uplifting three hours and I would do it again in a minute.
At home I sat by the fire and looked at photos from across the nation and around the world, photos of people demonstrating not just against the new president but for things, things like immigration and justice, and black lives, and women's rights, and abortion rights. There were witty signs and angry signs, but nary a sign of hate. I wept again in wonder for all the people who had marched and all the positive, enduring energy they generated. Energy that is being captured by new groups as well as individuals; energy that appears willing to stand up again and again in support of rights that are being threatened.
I am optimistic about the country, despite the chaotic first week of the new presidency and the avalanche of executive orders and promises of legislation. The Whitehouse appears surprisingly inept—well, maybe not surprisingly—and infused with such crazed, illogical behavior that it's hard to imagine those within ever accomplishing anything. But they will, of course.
But the week also brought evidence of continuing resistance, in the streets, in social media, in the government itself (see the alt gov tweeters for instance). And how could you miss the Greenpeace sign hoisted on a crane high above the Whitehouse: "RESIST."
It all counts and it all makes me smile. And I have no doubt, if only we continue down the path laid for us by the millions who marched on Saturday, we will surely overcome. What an amazing week.