Saturday, August 02, 2008

Reflections On The Longest Walk, Three Weeks After

During The Longest Walk, some of us reflected that we would bettter appreciate and understand the walk after it was all over.

That has proved true in my case--but then, I've always been a slow learner, seeming to need a fair amount of reflection time after important events.

The walk was challenging, physically, emotioally, and spiritually. Up every day before 4AM, on the road by five, seven miles before breakfast, sixteen to twenty total, maybe showers maybe not, maybe a bathroom, maybe the woods, a diverse crowd of people thrown together from different cultures, sunburn, sunstroke, tics---and walkinig on land all across the country that held some painful hisorical memories. I wondered at times if we were actually doing any real healing with our walk and ceremonies or just scratching he wounds.

But now that it's been over for nearly a month, I feel more than anything a deep gratitude for the people I met on the walk and
the moments we shared. Ron from the Houma Nation with his New Orleans accent that made him sound like he was from the Bronx, Gilberto the Afro-Cubam Buddhist monk who WAS from the Bronx, Addie with the adopted dog Booger trailing along behind her, or pulling her along, Margaret from the Chumash Nation with her quiet and steady self, Christopher AKA Sunshine with his golden hair and spirit, quiet Kana from Japan who reflected that all the emotional turmoil we were going thru on the walk was like the laundry spinning to get clean, "All the Way Ray" doing sixty push-ups after the walk, Tony with his amazing plugalong car, and so many others....

Would I do it again? No. Am I glad I did it this time? You bet.

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