My Experience on January 21, 2017
I went to the Women’s March in Oklahoma City by myself. I knew others who were going but we had no formal plans to meet up. As I approached the Capitol complex in my car, my eyes teared up and my chest got tight. I couldn’t believe the number of cars streaming into the parking lots on a Saturday morning. The energy of the day hit me before I ever reached the steps of the Capitol.
I never found my friends among the 12,000 people in attendance, but it didn’t matter. Every person there was my friend. I have never felt so much positive energy in one location. It was like an electric current running through the crowd. The larger the crowd grew, the more palpable the energy became.
It didn’t matter that those of us farther from the steps couldn’t quite hear what the organizers and speakers were saying. Were busy observing, chatting, taking pictures, admiring signs and pink hats, and sharing stories. Smiles and hugs were exchanged without reserve.
Once the march got underway, I fell in with some women who were intent on singing their way through the march. I joined in and sang with them. Strangers became kin in advocating for peace, freedom, love, and justice.
Humans are communal by nature. We seek safe, supportive environments. The Women’s March was a community formed from strangers brought together by social media, word of mouth, and an irresistible desire to join with others to support the good of all.
The positive power of the crowd made it a peaceful, happy gathering. I heard no complaints, witnessed no negativity. In a crowd that large you might expect a scuffle or a shouting match. If it happened, I didn’t see it, and I heard no reports to that effect. (The same was reported by those who attended marches in other cities.)
Knowing we were part of something much larger, something that stretched around the globe, surely infused the crowd with a sense of power and purpose. As a student of process theology, I think of God as a luminous thread that runs through all of creation always gently tugging us toward an ever more beautiful reality. I’m certain that thread was running through each marcher and each city on January 21, 2017.