I'm sitting here after the march organised by Autism Victoria to celebrate and highlight World Autism Awareness Day, happy that the meds have kicked in for the back pain (kicking myself for not remembering to take extras for the march but I survived and made it to the end) and thinking back over this marvellous day there are a few things that spring to mind.
1. Autism Victoria do a fucking great job.
2.Thank you to the police who were out in force making sure we all crossed the roads safely (and who even tied a balloon to their car aerial).
3. There were a shedload more people this year than last - easily 2 or three times as many - which added to everyone's feeling of camaraderie, smiles all around, strangers talking openly with each other like long lost friends, a real communal feeling of pride in the support of numbers.
4.Well done and a big pat on the back to Beachcomber Cafe for sponsoring the sausage sizzle.
The Autism Awareness Day march is not like the usual street march...it is nothing like a protest rally - there is no yelling or chanting - nor is it like the ANZAC Day march - there are no pipe/brass bands, no banners, no aeroplane fly overs...it is an oh-so-quiet walk of families simply chatting to each other, holding multicoloured biodegradable helium balloons on biodegradable strings enjoying the walk that is a grass roots almost-silent support of each other on a path many would turn tail and run from if they ever had a choice.
We stood shoulder to shoulder, listened and applauded the speakers , both political animals and those of the norm, then we got the count down for the magical moment; to release our balloons en masse.