“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth”. – Bradley Whitford
As I am filled with utter dread about the stark reality that our nation now has a leader who appears to be against every single thing that matters to me and my beliefs, I search the darkness for a shimmering light. A candle in the unknown that glows and grows within me.
I was not able to attend the Women’s March in DC yesterday nor the local one here in St. Paul, Minnesota. I doubted my choice over and over again but despite not physically being present I was there 100% in spirit. When I browsed over my Facebook feed late last night, I felt nothing but pride. There were all my amazing friends and fellow advocates, all around the world out there standing up for their beliefs. None of the protests that they attended were violent or disrespectful. They were all full of beauty and grace.
It restored my faith in democracy, and it gave me hope again in humanity. I fully believe that every person should be able to have their own beliefs, even if I don’t agree with them. However, I am not going to support a government that does not respect human rights and our planet nor am I going to become complacent. I have joined several causes -even more than ever before – to get educated on what I need to know and what I need to do. I am not going to give up quietly. There is too much at stake.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal”. – Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.
In the meantime, I wanted to leave some photos of the gorgeous flowers I found in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Their graceful, fragile beauty symbolize the beauty of the women I know and have never met who have fought so hard to be treated as equals.
At yesterday’s Women’s March in Saint Paul, Minnesota (with record attendance of over 90,000 making it one of the largest political marches in Minnesota history) Newly elected State Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis (the first Somali woman in the United States to be elected to public office) poetically said:
“I hope to remind people that it is our differences that make our country beautiful.”
“Sooner or later, even the fastest runners have to stand and fight”. – Stephen King
“For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down the fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.” – Alice Walker
This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful and is dedicated to all the amazing women out there fighting for their rights to equality.
very nicely said. that’s the beauty if a democracy. Respect the differences and unity in diversity.
Thank you! 🙂
Wow these photos are amazing and way to dedicate them to all the lovely women who marched. 🙂
Thanks so much! I have many friends who went and they all came back feeling so energized and excited. It made me so happy!
Beautiful flow gallery, Nicole!!
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the pictures!
Right on! 🙂
What a wonderful post for this time of year. My amaryllis’ are blooming in a pot on my fridge to help dispell the winter gloom, but these are just spectacular!
Thank you! When I don’t have flowers I like to buy some fresh ones for the house too but it never is the same. Glad you enjoyed the pics!
I just love seeing your post on my blog, it just brightens up the page. I’ve been photographing flowers for years but have never been to the tropics, just what I grow in my garden. Someday I hope!
So glad you enjoyed the flowers! I sure miss flowers in the winter time. 🙂
Thirdeyemom, I too am frightened for our future and the future of our planet, but, I have hope, when I read your beautiful writing and inspiring quotes, it always warms my heart, and reminds me, there a more good then evil in this world! Hugs Linda
Thank you so much Linda! Sending a hug your way too! Nicole 🙂
Wonderful article and beautiful photos and quotes. Thank you for this post. I did not attend the marches, but seeing the amazing numbers has renewed my spirit. Patriotism IS alive in this country. Additionally, we have the hope and support and love of other countries. Many came from Canada to march with us, and many other countries did marches on our behalf. During the march in Berlin, it was quoted, “We know that walls do not work.” I think it sums it all up.
Yes seeing all the beautiful photos and quotes made me feel so happy and brought tears to my eyes. There were even women marching in Antartica! I love the strength and beauty of this all. Thanks for commenting!!!
Lovely collection of shots!
Thanks so much!
Especially lovely flower photos! The last one is quite unique. Here in Oaxaca the Women’s March was also about solidarity with the Mexican people. My neighbor was one of the organizers, and said they were expecting maybe 200 people – how wonderful it was that the number of participants was around 2000!
Wow that is fantastic Marilyn!!! 2,000. I love so much how women all around the world came together. It is a beautiful thing. Hope you are well!
I didn’t march either, but I know the feeling! I was so inspired online by seeing those who marched that I wrote a poem, tears flowing and all! “I marched within” <3 Loved resonating with your post, thanks for writing!
Thanks for stopping by! Is your poem on your blog? I would love to read it!!! Let me know and I will go check it out. 🙂 Nicole
it is 🙂 I just started blogging, so the place looks a bit like i just moved it haha. but please stop by an enjoy! I would love the chance to share with you after reading your post!
Congrats! I just checked and didn’t see the poem up. Let me know when it is up as I’d love to take a look!:)
its the starry woman picture, titled Oh Woman
Monumental confirmation of commitment. . .I wish I were as eloquent. Thank You.
Glad you enjoyed. 🙂 Thanks…
Wunderbare Aufnahmen dieser schönen Blüten, danke fürs zeigen. 🙂 Ernst
Hi Nicole, Thank you for my moment of zen. Absolutely gorgeous images of these incredible flowers! I attended the march in SF which was an inspiration. Just posted the images. What a day.
Loved your post Jane. Thank you for inspiring me! It is day 5 and everything so far has made my stomach churn. But seeing the numbers of people out there fighting for their beliefs brought me hope. Thank you!
I was in the air at the time of the marches, but proud of all our sisters on the ground who are trying to keep human rights, not just women’s rights, front and center. By nature, I’m not a protester or marcher or agitator, but I fail to understand any woman’s argument that women already have everything we need and want. It’s just so shallow and selfish to not realize that other women marched and fought for what we do have now, and that we need to do the same for those who come after us and for those who don’t “have it all” right now (and that’s most of us, contrary to some people’s beliefs). And now I’ll stop my mini-rant and say how pretty those flowers are! 🙂
Thanks for the comment Lexi. I bet it is hard living in DC now with everything going on. I can hardly read the paper here! What really scares me is how we are taking away the rights of women who simply have no choice. $9 billion in funding is at threat now to any international NGO that even speaks of reproductive rights. When I was in Ethiopia two years ago, I saw how desperate these women are to get the help they need and how much these NGOS do to save lives. Maternal mortality rates will definitely increase dramatically because of our actions. It just isn’t right.
A powerful message (one I embrace wholeheartedly), and those photos, exquisite!
Thank you LuAnn! This trip feels like years ago given the week last week! 🙂
We all need to live in peace, happiness and as one human race.
Loved the floral delights! I simply love nature and the flowers add so much color and beauty, don’t they 🙂
Thank you for stopping by! Yes we need peace, happiness and compassion.