2018’s Women’s March started off quite similar to 2017’s. Friends huddled together for warmth, confusion over start time, strangers exchanging knowing smiles that acknowledged our shared discomfort in the cold...all against the backdrop of drums, chants, and unique to this year – the mysterious smell of burning sage. Nevertheless, once the march got started it was easy to remember why we were all gathered in this same space again, one year after the first history-making march had occurred.
What has always moved me about the various marches I’ve attended in Seattle, is the sense of community. While initially a march might seem representative of negative emotions – frustration, anger, disappointment, injustice – when you’re actually in the sea of others who are frustrated too, you are reminded that you are not alone. That while even the people walking right next to you might have differing beliefs, ideas, politics, and backgrounds, most are inherently good.
One of the beautiful things about marches in Seattle is the collection of people they bring about. I saw women, of course. But even more than that, I saw generations of women. Groups of friends with women who looked alike, but also groups where each woman looked very different. Husbands standing with their wives. Parents walking along with their children, both grown and young. And of course, in true Seattle fashion…lots and lots of dogs.
Despite this year’s freezing wind and rain, even born and raised Seattleites can’t help but let go of their tough, quiet exteriors as strangers converse, eat, holler, and laugh together while loudly making our way from Cal Andersen to MoPOP. When my friends and I finish the route and end up in Seattle Center’s Armory, I look around at the hordes of people grabbing beers and whatever lunch they can get for the shortest line, and am reminded of a city carnival of sorts. Sure, the stakes here are higher. The challenges we face, harder. But the sense of coming together is not so different, and perhaps even more meaningful.
Once my group is headed home (and by home I mean Sam’s Tavern), we spot a woman weaving her way throughout the groups of marchers. She wears a witch’s hat, a burning bundle of sage, and a mischievous grin.
Mariah Acuff is a Blog Contributor and PR Coordinator at The World is Fun