Three friends from South County and I met under the clock at Grand Central, unfurled our banner, and stepped outside onto 42nd Street to wait to join the march. The street filled up behind us as folks of every description flooded out from the train station to join the march as well. Eventually we were allowed to merge behind the first wave and start up the parade route.
Our little foursome always walked on the right side of the column of marchers and could clearly see the people standing all along the parade route. So often a cheer of support would ring out: “Yea Berkshires!” “Yea Berkshire Women!” as we passed by. We were being seen, we were being acknowledged and very often our banner was photographed.
The feeling all around us was that of Peaceful Community and of mutual support and acceptance. There was much more joy than anger, much more hope and resolve than despair and resentment being expressed, or so it felt to me. We were TOGETHER… moving slowly and purposefully up 5th Avenue towards Trump Tower.
By now the sky had slowly transformed from cloudy to blue. As the march paused at 53rd Street the bells from St. Thomas’ bell tower suddenly peeled out a most compelling National Anthem. We all broke into song, then cheers. After a quiet pause the bells began playing the most inspiring and soulful version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” one could possibly imagine. The haunting chorus seemed to float on the cool air above our heads.
This music was thrilling and uplifting. Such a “gift of spirit” from the unseen musician inside. I will remember that moment and that time at the Women’s March of 2017 always.