Election Vigil

A family from Michigan was trying to distract themselves from the news and just happened to come to the Big 4 Bridge. The parents and three children were in Louisville for a work conference but couldn't stand sitting in the hotel room, feeling alone. As they approached the foot of the bridge, they saw a few folks gathered with candles. They were asked, "Are you here for the vigil?"

Afterward, they introduced themselves with profuse gratitude. "We had no idea something like this was going on. It was just what we needed." They were just what I needed, too.

Someone standing next to me caught my eye, smiling in the candlelight. "I'm the sister of the first man who was married to his partner in Kentucky," she told me. We tearfully embraced. "They both had to work tonight, but I wanted to be somewhere...for them. For me." For all of us.

A student, a lawyer, a college professor, a Waldorf teacher, an international nonviolent witness, a retreat leader, a doula, an academic, a massage therapist, a writer. Children, parents, activists, friends, siblings, teachers, neighbors. Louisvillians. U.S. citizens. Companions.

All holding a light.
All turning to one another, sharing their names, looking into one another's eyes.
All standing next to flowing water, common element, and bridges, structures of connection.
All holding their fears and hopes and angers and despairs and visions.
All singing, "Dona nobis pacem."
All nodding in recognition that we MUST listen to our children and let them lead us.
All imagining what we hope to see in a more just and peaceful world.
All choosing to show up on a cold night to be reminded of who we are, and that we belong to each other.

Gratitude for that circle of light. Let's tend it. Let's be nourished by it. Let's grow it. Let's use it for our collective liberation.