The Harrell family and Jon Claney at the People’s Climate March, Sept. 21.
My feet hurt. My knees hurt. The pain rose to my hips. We had walked nearly four miles. And before we began walking, we stood still for nearly two hours, waiting for our section of the People’s Climate March to get going.
When you are one of over 300,000 people in a single protest, demanding that world leaders take action on the world’s climate, that’s the way things go. Not everyone can be at the front of the line.
As I stood, impatient that the line wasn’t moving, I realized that this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that climate change will visit upon humankind—unless we act now. I was privileged to be here, to be part of this unprecedented protest. My feet hurt, but so what?
Twenty-six of us from First Unitarian Church were a tiny fraction of the total number of marchers—but a significant number from a 425-member congregation in Delaware—a congregation that is awakening to its potential for action
It meant a lot to us to be among the thousands who made the effort to show up in person, expressing their concern for the planet. Showing up is the first step in making change. If you stay home or don’t think the problem affects you, nothing good will happen.
Would we be missed had we not been part of the largest climate march in history? Perhaps not. But we had individually and collectively asked ourselves where we needed to be on Sept. 21.
Along those miles pavement, whether waiting or walking, we connected to something larger than ourselves. When you look at the night sky in a remote, dark place, you can see a few thousand stars—and it makes you feel small and humble in the face of the vastness and grandeur of the universe.
At the People’s Climate March, we saw humanity in the same light. A couple dozen people can’t change the world, but connect us to each other and we have a fighting chance.
Check out First Unitarian’s Facebook page for a gallery of photos.