I was so fortunate to have participated in the recent Climate March in NYC on September 21.  I traveled with one of the Sierra Club buses that left from Portland.  It was a life changing experience, so inspiring and hopeful.  There were an estimated 400,000 people who gathered for the March.  The spirit was festive and energized, people were networking and sharing their stories and information with each other as we marched together.  

At 12:58 there was a call for 2 minutes of silence to honor those who have been suffering from the effects of climate change, and at 1:00 to make a lot of noise, to “sound the climate alarm”, to honor the Earth with a big sound of our voices, noise makers, and musical instruments.

What a powerful experience, to hold silence, people linking up their hands or holding two fingers in the air, making the sign of peace.  I was positioned at the tail end of the march, and when we sounded the climate alarm it was like being in a river of thousands of human beings, hearing the sound of voices like a great wave come roaring down through the crowd until it lifted up my own voice.  Incredible, so powerful, it brought tears to my eyes.

I was deeply impressed and inspired at all the planning and the organization that went into the march, all the details, all the volunteers. That in itself gives me much hope for the possibilities for positive changes that are needed to heal and support the Earth: we CAN organize and work together effectively, and mobilize thousands of people.

Along the route were large TV screens that showed videos of other marches and gatherings occurring all over the world in support of Climate Change:  London, Paris, New Delhi, Sydney, etc. and it made me aware of this vast network of human beings all rallying to take care of our planet.

As a musician, I was also reminded how important and helpful and uplifting music is for the work we do, and for energizing such events. Among the marchers were many groups of drummers and singers.  One of my favorite groups was Reverend Billy’s (The Church of Stop Shopping) gospel choir of Bees.  They were really fun!  I had packed a shaker, a pandeiro, and an agogo bell, and had a great time joining in with the music. It was very joyful, even as we were speaking out and addressing very serious issues and concerns.People Climate March

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