Sunday, August 4, 2019

"... so we can change the world ..."

The volunteers who organized the Farmworkers March for Dignity arrived at the designated meeting placed before 4 a.m.  With sunrise approaching at 5:47, the marchers gathered near the U.S. Customs and Border Protection building in Ferndale, WA, for a brief ceremony and mística*. 

There was a reading of the United Farm Workers Prayer:

Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I may know my people’s plight.
Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person.
Help me to take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve others, for in service there is true life.
Give me honesty and patience, so that I can work with other workers.
Bring forth song and celebration, so that the Spirit will be alive among us.
Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world.
Following that, a young woman carried what I would call a smudge pot within and throughout the circle of people, after which one person sang and then everyone joined in the singing of this song:
We were instructed to form a single line so that we could walk safely on the country roads which have very little shoulder.  In the small crowd of all ages which then moved into single line, there was at least one toddler, carried by his mother.  At 1.6 miles was the first rest stop, which had been set up outside at the side of the two-lane country road.  There was a table with breakfast option of a chorizo/egg burrito or a vegan burrito), with donations accepted.  Extraordinary volunteer effort goes into organizing a march of this kind.  There were medics and a portable restroom which moved from rest stop to rest stop.  
At the first rest stop, a tiny boy walked tentatively, full of curiosity, as his mother watched closely over him and the adults stood eating their burritos and talking quietly in the early morning light of rural Whatcom County.
*a ceremony used by movements in Latin America to ground and express their work through spiritual, artistic, and cultural traditions.

1 comment:

Colette said...

So beautiful, the whole post. I am grateful to have that United Farm Worker's Prayer. Thank you, thank you, thank you.