28 days of walking: day 28

NOTE: I did, in fact, write this right after my 28th consecutive day of walking. However, soon after that, Life picked up and whisked me off to another part of the country and then a couple of intense work projects began, and I didn’t have a chance to actually post this until now. The post refers to events that were happening in the world at the time; more things have of course happened since then – both in my personal life and in the world. Time walks on, as do I. But I share my thoughts just as I wrote them that day.

IMG_5293On Day 28, the last official day of 28 Days of Walking, I walked for peace. I walked for peace of mind, inspired by my friend Saulo who was fasting for less violence in the world, and also for his own peace of mind.

Walking doesn’t really “do” anything. I can’t put it in a business report and tell you that I’m in the red or black.

I can tell you how far I walked (if I cared to measure it), but I can’t tell you for sure that my act of walking brought in more business, saved lives, provided services for x number of people, sold more gadgets, upped someone’s stock, or got some kids to pass their tests.

I can tell you that a chipmunk ran across my path.

I can tell you that I ate one wild raspberry, tart and brilliant red, growing by the path.

I can tell you that I saw nine out of the ten possible waterfalls I could have seen that day, each of them different.

I can tell you that I dipped my toes in ice cold water and gazed at one of those waterfalls with three other people (strangers to me) also gazing – one of whom walked, smiling, up to the wall of water with her arms outstretched.

IMG_5283_edI can tell you that I helped two women get un-lost. (They had been walking for hours in circles, for miles. They didn’t have a map and missed a crucial turn.)

I can tell you that the sun changed how things looked as time passed.

I can tell you that my energy picked up the longer I walked.

I can tell you that I have a few blisters starting on my toes.

I can tell you that every thought I didn’t know I was still processing made its way into my brain, until finally I was able to focus on not falling in the creek, or on making it up the next hill, or just on the ever-changing beauty.

I can tell you that I walked with the intention of hiking for less violence in the world, but when I found myself in such amazing surroundings I had trouble putting the immense beauty of this world together with the fact that hundreds of Palestinians have died this week, tens of thousands of children are arriving at our borders seeking better lives (including less violence in their daily lives), hundreds of thousands of people world-wide are living in and/or trying to escape violence, abuse, addictions and poverty. I know those people are on the same planet as I am as I walk through this glorious forest.

I don’t know what to do about that.

As I have said before, I know that walking is putting one foot in front of the other. I know that I did feel slightly more peaceful when I finished. I know that I didn’t really “do” anything about the problems in this world today – other than getting my own self out and into a place that feeds my soul. A place where I realized I have so much going on in my head that I need to clear it, to make room for others.

I was present (eventually, after my brain stopped spinning), and I held people in mind (for at least the brief moments I could focus).

I found moments of peace.

But there are still so many miles to go.

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2 thoughts on “28 days of walking: day 28

  1. Love it Michelle…. thanks. There is something in attention, in being… that you give language to in this writing and it is appreciated, here, by me.

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