I Will Not Let You Fall

As I spin in my head after the soaring high of the Women’s March and land. Splat. In the dull grey matter of a fellow human being who would let people go without, people who can’t afford a doctor, or a decent school, or clean water to drink...

As volunteers who work to settle Syrian refugee families weep openly on the news because the most recent family who came to town might be the last they’ll be able to retrieve...

As my eyes are opened to addled disregard for human suffering and persistent, overwhelming kindness at exactly the same time...

I sleep on my cousin’s floor in a strange town with a capitol building and a fancy, white house.

I’m small, just a person on a floor, and the buildings out there, in that city full of power, are big.

But the people are awake, and there are so many people — more than the fancy, old buildings can hold — up on their feet, preaching about safety for every person of every persuasion. They’re preaching about mutual respect, as a creed and a means of survival — and it makes me feel boundless, like falling backwards into a parachute held up by doves and hawks and bumble bees.

Every one of us who flood the streets is different, but we’re also the same. We love our families and friends. We want good schools and opportunities. We want our freedom.

But so do the people in the red hats.

This isn’t about Pink vs. Red.

It’s about each of us in our communities working against isolation and division. It’s the absolute best of what this country has to offer, and it makes me feel at least a little bit okay as I tuck my kid into bed at night.

We are coming home to each other; opening our hearts to every walk of life; seeing each other for the whole people that we are and saying, “I will not let you fall.”

If we build on that, we can’t be reduced to a bunch of nagging shrews or elitist hipsters. We are moms and dads. We are young and old people who give a damn about diversity and decency. We are caregivers, and as long as we can see relief in the eyes of a neighbor who needed a boost, we will not be exhausted.

The wall is being built, but it isn’t a border wall. It’s a wall of support, cooperation, and fierce refusal to engage in hatred... even toward the people in the red hats.

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