We were decked out in yellow Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts and proudly unfurled our new Unitarian Universalists for Climate Justice banner. With us were new friends from 12 Unitarian Universalists congregations from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. About two dozen old friends from Whidbey Island also warmly greeted us.
The procession that we all joined was part of a series of national and international events all organized under the title Break Free from Fossil Fuels. On Saturday, we were led by tribal leaders and native drummers and singers. Young and old and in-betweens walked for three miles along a roadway that passes between the refineries and the tidal flats.
Looking around at all the small faces that surrounded us and reading the hope filled signs was heart warming. Here we all were together speaking with one voice.
Looking out across the water towards the wooded shorelines, I saw one more example of what an amazing part of the planet we are so privileged to live in.
On the other side of the road were lines of black rail tank cars, sometimes called “bomb cars,” filled with a volatile mixture of Bakken crude oil from the Alberta tar sands. Behind them rose the refineries themselves, with dark gray plumes of toxins wafting up into the grey sky.