I thought of my mother often, yesterday, as I marched in the Oakland Women’s March. Her politics, when I was a child in the 1940s, were informed and very progressive. She supported labor unions, did not cross picket lines, and took me into the voting booth to show me how she pulled levers to support the candidates she favored. She wore dangling earrings that read FDR during one election campaign, in a neighborhood where our voting did not match most other people’s. She went to work as a typist at a county hospital right out of high school to help support her family. I’ve always felt her confidence and courage and resolve in me. I was a very young mother when she died, but I have felt her spirit in me as I marched, with my children, in protest marches in the 1960s, as I lobbied for and taught the first Women’s Studies Course at College of Marin in 1972, as I got arrested for civil disobedience for protesting the United States invasion of Afghanistan. I was among the older people at yesterday’s march but a friend and teaching colleague of mine was marching with his five year old son riding on his shoulders. People sometimes ask, “How can I teach mindfulness to my children?” I think what they means is, “How can I teach thoughtfulness and kindness?” I think we do it by taking our children with us to see how we move in the world.
My blogs are often illustrated by my daughter Elizabeth. Here is an Instagram post by her daughter Honor. Also about the march yesterday.