Above this post is a picture of a mountain. This is where I was lucky enough to spend my Canada day, with my family. I remember a weight lifting off my shoulders as I gazed at the sight, feeling comparatively small against this massive reminder of how the world is shaped. Sometimes changing the life around it abruptly, sometimes subtly and slow.
Social movements can feel like that too. Sometimes change happens fast, you can get caught up in the momentum and sometimes confused, forgetting that things must slow down again. When things do slow down, you wonder if anything you’ve done, or continue to do, is making any kind of difference.
I’m feeling a bit like that myself right now. The Toronto Disability Pride March is now entering its sixth year, mark your calendars for September 24th. I look back at that first year, and it would be easy to convince myself that nothing has changed, with so many of us still struggling against oppression, with low social assistance rates, inadequate accessible housing, lack of accessibility, and now it seems we even need to prove our very lives have value.
Then I think about the small group of organizers who’ve kept this march going for the last six years, even when the weight of it seemed almost too much to bear. The people who’ve been inspired by it, the voices that have been heard, and I know why we do this. Like the mountain, slowly emerging towards the sky, we’ve claimed this space, and our world must change with us.
I think this year may be time to give that ground a shake.