February 29, 2004

Lee to Northampton, days 2 - 4

Keeping a blog of the walk is harder than I expected. After walking 15 miles or so, I'm usually pretty tired out. Then we often are the focus of some sort of public gathering in a church or other community center where we finish the day's walk, which includes talking with people who show up, eating a wonderful pot luck dinner with lots of wonderful and delicious vegitarian food, and doing some sort of circle or gathering. After that there's not much energy before I'm ready for bed, since there's a 5 AM wakeup for morning prayers.

On the second day of the walk, we left Lee in the morning, then walked to the Kushi Institute in Beckett, where we had a wonderful macrobiotic lunch given to us by the Institute. From there we drove to West Cummington, where we got back on the road and walked to The Old Country Creamery in Cummington. Not only was the walk challenging due to climbing up some pretty steep grades on the way to Beckett, but I had some sort of sinus infection, so I was crying out of my right eye and blowing my nose every 5 minutes. By the time we ate dinner, I was blowing my nose every minute or so.

Gopi's house, the Flying Turtle.

Our host for the night was Gopi, and we stayed at his house, The Flying Turtle. In the morning, my nose and eyes had not cleared up, in fact they were getting worse, and I was thinking of heading home to take a few days off. When Gopi heard this, he handed me some Echinacia along with a glass of water, and told me to take some on my tongue followed by a drink of water. About 15 minutes later, my nose and eyes had cleared up, and I perked up. Since we were driving to our starting point for the day, we stopped off to pick up some Echinacia, and I was set for the day. We walked from Huntington to Westfield, through some nice forested country roads.

Tailgating - peace walk style.

Marilyn and Richard showed up with lunch, and both of them walked with us at some point during the day.

Relaxing after reaching Northampton this afternoon.
Community circle before dinner.

Today was a beautiful spring day, and 3 of our hosts from last night walked with us towards the edge of Westfield, where they got picked up to help shuttle the cars ahead. When we stopped in the middle of Southampton, we were joined by Mikey, who had been on a previous walk for a few days. It turned out he was in a band with the son of Trudy, who was one of our hosts from the previous evening.

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February 28, 2004

laptop trouble

Last night my laptop's backlight wasn't working, but this morning the problem seems to be cleared up. I wasn't able to post anything without the backlight, and this morning I need to get ready to walk to Northampton. Hopefully the backlight problem was only temporary, and I'll be able to write a proper update this evening.

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February 26, 2004

Day one of the walk

The altar in the shrine room at the pagoda.

Last night when I got to the Peace Pagoda, everyone was in the shrine room for a ceremony to commemorate the death of the founder of their order's mother, and also to celebrate the 20th anniversary of buying the land for the pagoda. So I got to see their alter in action, so to speak. It had lots of buddhas and other items on and around it. It was so colorful that I took a picture.

Giving our peace packet to Lisa, the Pittsfield's mayor's assitant.

Today we walked from Pittsfield to Lee, stopping in Lenox for a lunch break. We started in Pittsfield at the city hall, and stopped by the mayor's office to give him a packet with information about the mayor's campaign for peace. His assistant came out to the steps of the city hall and accepted the packet from us.

Scenes from today's walk.

My legs are sore after a day of walking. We're at the UCC church in Lee, where we're about to meet some people from the community for a pot luck supper and gathering. One of the things that struck me about today was how much everyone on the road just rushes by. I think what really struck me, was that normally I'm one of the drivers, just rushing by everything in my life. However, today I was moving slowly, walking on the side of the road, while other drivers rushed by. It's nice to slow down sometimes, and not be in such a hurry.

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February 25, 2004

Walking for Peace 2004

The walk starts tomorrow, but for me it's already started. I walked a couple of miles to the commuter rail station with 3 weeks of belongings on my back, then took the commuter rail to Boston and the bus to Amherst. I'm waiting in the local Burrito Joint for Brother Toby to come from the Peace Pagoda and pick me up. I'll stay at the Pagoda tonight, then go together to Pittsfield tomorrow morning for the official start of the walk.

I spent some time (while my battery lasted, at least) on the road putting together the About the Walk page for this blog, so now I'm ready for the walk to begin. I hope to be updating this blog regularly during the next 3 weeks, so check back every day or so for an update. It remains to be seen how well I'll be able to connect to the net in order to send updates, but I'll do my best.

I have fond memories of last year's walk - the wonderful sense of trust in whatever happened, memories of meeting a wide variety of people, the feeling that there wasn't anywhere else I wanted to be. That doesn't happen often enough for me. It'll be interesting to see how the walk unfolds this year. Usually when I do something with expectations about how it will turn out, I inevitably get disappointed. So far I have complete trust that this is what I want to be doing, but I'll see if that feeling lasts.

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