The sound of the drum and Native chants led the way as I walked toward Grand Parade Square on Saturday afternoon. I was soon enveloped in a sea of pink. The scent of sage filled the air as an elder wise woman walked gracefully through the crowd smudging us. Womyn, men, children, every culture, every race, every religion, stood together, shoulder to shoulder… we listened, we cheered, we sang… each speaker igniting us and inspiring us. I stood there overwhelmed with gratitude to be part of this historic moment. We knew we were a part of a whole… connecting our voices and our energy with our sisters and brothers in the south and around the world. We stood together in power, giving voice to our hope, light, and love.
Why did I go to the March? Because in 1961, a young student left India to arrive on the shores of BC to do his PhD, and he was accepted… because I come from a long line of courageous powerful women in my ancestral tribe – my mother, grandmother, aunt, great-grandmother… because my parents always encouraged me to stand up for what I believe in… because I am a woman of colour in a city of diversity and I have always been unconditionally loved and accepted by my tribe of powerful men and women… because I have said “no” before and it was respected… because I have said “no” before and it was NOT respected… because I am tired of still hearing stories about racial profiling/women not being respected/ people not feeling safe walking down the street at night… because for the first time ever, I fear going to the USA because of the colour of my skin and because I am a woman… because I remain hopeful that we will leave the future better for the next generation, and because I believe in the power of love and in the light of the divine feminine.
This was not only a march saying “No” to ignorance, misogyny, fear, homophobia, and the darkness… These are all symptoms of a deeper issue in the world. This was a march forward, calling for respect, speaking our truth, awakening, and acceptance. This was a march to say: our fire is bright and will not be extinguished.
We will continue to stand together, to midwife each other through this time, giving light when darkness feels overwhelming, encouraging and honouring our emotions, lifting each other with support, and reminding each other – you are not alone, you are wise and fierce, I hear you. We will step with power and rise in light. We are the ones we have been waiting for. And we will always rise.