March 07, 2004

Groton to Chelmsford

Susan and her son Andy join us for the morning's walk out of Groton.
Pussywillows for sale means Spring is coming.
Happy faces upon reaching our destination for the day.

Today's walk started in Groton, when we were accompanied by Susan and Andy, a mother and son who we met the previous evening at their Unitarian Church. We walked to Westford, where we ate lunch on the common, then got invited into coffee hour at the Westford Unity Church to meet their friendly congregation. In the afternoon, my friend Ken showed up with some friends of his, and walked with us to the Episcopalian Church in Chemlsford, where we received a wonderful dinner.

One of the challenges of keeping this journal is finding not only the time, but also the energy to go through my pictures, select the best ones, reformat them for the web site, then writing up the events of the day. After a long day of walking, a pot luck dinner, and a discussion with local people interested in the walk, I just want to get a hot shower (if one is available, that is), then get a good nights sleep. I guess that's why it's so easy for me to be brief in my descriptions.

One of the things I've been meaning to write about is the joy of receiving the support of the local communities we walk through. Every night we have met some wonderful people, and they have fed us an amazing variety of great food. Every night we find warm and dry places to sleep, ranging from floors to comfortable beds. I'm amazed at the kindness of all the strangers who provide this wonderful bounty. It's easy to become cynical and depressed about the human condition after reading the news or watching it on TV for a while. But getting out and about, and meeting so many wonderful people working for, praying for, and creating peace is a wonderful experience. It's wonderful to see that so many people are inspired by what we do, and are willing to support us in our walk. In turn, we are inspired by those who turn out to meet us, to feed us, to house us, or even those who wave and smile as we walk by.

At the start of the walk I wondered what I had done to deserve such wonderful treatment, but during the walk I've had a chance to listen to stories of what previous walks have inspired, and I understand why someone is willing to drive around for a day to support us. Marilyn talked about how she couldn't have even dreamed of doing a peace vigil in Huntington until the monks walked through 2 years ago and drummed and chanted outside the town hall. That inspired her to create a local vigil, and despite threats and warnings, its now become an accepted happening in the town. A group in Westfield coalesced after a visit by a previous walk, and has been holding vigils in town as well as other events. It's amazing how inspiring the simple action of walking for peace can be. So now when I see someone give us the thumbs up, or other expression of support for our walk, I wonder how that person might be inspired to act for peace in their own lives.

Posted by Craig at March 7, 2004 09:59 PM | TrackBack