On Friday, September 20th, members from all walks of life on Maui gathered together to join a global movement and take a stand on a multitude of diverse issues. These topics ranged from clean water to animal agriculture and everything related to global warming. A strong community arose to join the growing and evolving conversation.
Right around 4pm, the air buzzed with change: booths ready to facilitate action, speakers ready to spread their voices, and people ready to stand as one. The strike began passionately, with children and adolescents speaking their thoughts and feelings and hopes and fears, for future generations. Groups of friends and individuals came to the microphone to share a multitude of perspectives. As a concoction of encouragement mixed with eerily accurate predictions was placed onto the table of our minds, we headed for the march.
Signs in the air and smiles on our faces, many walked with reason along W. Kaahumanu Ave. Cars were honking to the beat of our footsteps, creating a melody only an activist would register. Moving in groups to flow with the rhythm of traffic, we marched and knew that somewhere else in the world, another march was happening too. There’s been talk of climate change for quite some time, but this felt different. It felt real, and it felt momentous, harmonious. Different backgrounds, different ages, different reasons, it didn’t matter. What we all shared, was the love for the ground we walked upon, sea surrounding us, and the sky above. The smell of community filled the air.
As the sun was setting, we completed our circle and headed back to the college. There was a sense of newness and freshness in the air. Music echoed between smiles and hugs, the golden hour had commenced. Booths were flooded with conversation about local efforts to get involved with climate action. Connections were sprouted as this tree of change grew deeper roots.
Towards the end, the microphone was opened to those who wished to share any words in reflection of the evening’s events. First children and then elders were welcomed and encouraged to share any insights not yet mentioned. Perspectives and opportunities were dealt out as the crowd patiently listened. Just before the night was over, a speaker from the Mauna Kea protest came and as we shared our last moments, a profound wisdom sprinkled down from the rising moon. A deliciously perfect way to end such a movement, people slowly began to trickle back to their cars and headed home.
What was reiterated, I believe on a communal level that night, was the strength of community, the power our voices can foster when spoken with truth and the heights our footsteps can reach when traveled together. This goes far beyond our precious Ohana on Maui, extending its growing branches all over the world. There have been many movements in humankind, but the unity, the vastness, the speed of climate action is passionately undeniable. Numbers are growing. People are awakening to the diverse array of ways the Earth is changing, and how we as humans can change with it. For the betterment of the planet and for one another, change is in the air and it breathes a voice that is fair.