I did something on Monday, January 15th of this year that I'd never done before: I actually walked in the Martin Luther King, Jr. March from BSU to the Capitol. I've always meant to, but, never made it. I'm embarrassed to admit it after all of my social media postings about such things. I've walked in the Women's March. I've been involved with Add the Words, and walked in Pride parades, but, for some reason I've neglected to be involved in this all-important event. I'd even gone to the observance after the MLK Rally in the Capitol Rotunda, but, the physical march was something I'd never done. Having done it now, I wonder what was keeping me away from doing it. Laziness? Thinking my one body wouldn't make a difference?
It was an enlightening, encouraging, and inspiring experience, and while making the long walk, I noted those around me. It was a great mix of races, leaders of the community, students, old and young. One gentleman next to me told me about previous marches he'd been in, and the difficulties weather could often create, but they had marched on. The local leader of the NAACP was walking by me for a while, carrying his sign with a look of determination and underlying emotion. I felt waves of emotions myself as I looked forward, back and all around at the hundreds of people marching. To stand and watch is one thing. To be in the actual march is another. I felt both small and yet, part of a much bigger entity. Then, at the end of the rally when the crowd joined hands singing "We Shall Overcome," and a total stranger took my hand as we all sang, I realized, my "march" is really just beginning.
We live in a great community here in Boise and Ada County and surrounding areas. It is much more diverse than most realize, with all sorts of nationalities, races, sexual orientations, and creeds represented, but, yesterday, I saw and heard a sampling of all speaking with just one voice. I'm glad I finally joined in the march. I have always been a social justice warrior, but, walking that distance with so many like minds gave me further faith in all that is good, and what good can be done if we all work together. Its great to stand up against the darkness, but stepping forward into it with your light of positive action is another. After all, isn't that America is really supposed to be about?