I usually like the rain. But walking out of my house Wednesday morning, the rain felt hostile. Like the tips of sharp knives and pitchforks and they kept hitting me. The sound of the rain was dull and lifeless. It was 8:51 a.m. and only a handful of faces were on Locust Walk. Maybe they didn’t even have faces. Everyone’s heads hung low, obscured by their umbrella, their hood, their quiet. It seemed that everyone was on the verge of tears. After the initial waking up to see the results, and then the shower, and then the walk to campus, I still had dry eyes. It hadn’t sunk in.
I walked into my job at the Kelly Writer’s House and sat there for a minute. More and more coworkers came into the kitchen where we have our best conversations, our best arguments, our best camaraderie. And we cried together. Five women of different backgrounds, ages, sexualities, incomes, lives. We all cried. And I kept thinking to myself, “How can supposed “democracy” feel like such a hostile attack on every single woman in this room?” I feel none of us really worked Wednesday. Routine was attempted, but futile. Classes were nice distractions, work was bearable, but then you walked out of the building and back into rain. And this rain was absolutely spiteful.
Yet somehow during the Solidarity Walk later, so many of us soaked and wet were able to scream and chant and be there for each other. The rain hung on to every little article of clothing, the water splotched the words on our signs and we all looked like we were crying with the rain dripping down on our faces, but we were together. A solidarity built out of many paradoxes – desperation and hope, fear and safety, unity and division. We fought through rain Wednesday night though. We fought through a harsh day. And the ability to come together so quickly, to grieve communally, to chant and yell together is all the inspiration and energy I need to get through the future rains and the future storm approaching us.