It hardly seems real, that this walk could be at an end, and that I would be done (for now) with the rituals around packing up the cart and heading down the road, or the trail, with or without predetermined destination for the day, and hoping for weather-mercy. But so it is.
A ride through some rather hazardous road construction cut a day off my walk across the peninsula between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. There were several thunder/rain storms I avoided overnight by sleeping in motels, and even a tornado on Kent Island overnight on the day I left Annapolis. It did considerable damage in an area where my friend Breck and I had walked less than 24 hours before. The day prior to my arrival day in Lewes (on the coast) I was soaked to the skin as it rained all morning, and then got a sunburn in the afternoon. I spent that final night on the edge of a cornfield, a peaceful and fitting last night on the road.
My welcome in Lewes made me feel like royalty. Am being hosted by more of D.C. Andrea's friends(!) in a beautiful home on the edge of the wetlands of Cape Henlopen State Park. I've been honored to meet many of the town's literati, activists and other interesting folks. Tomorrow I will have a visit with a journalist with the local paper, who took some photos of the 'closing ceremony' we had at the ocean-side beach on Friday. After a 'risky' forecast for that day, the weather turned out to be ideal. And to my great joy, along with some new friends from here in Lewes, a couple of Zen friends (Arlene Lueck and Andrea Way) were present for the event, to help me chant a verse called the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo.
This was the final dedication:
This chant is an invocation of Kannon, the Bodhisattve of Compassion. I'd like to dedicate any merit arising from our recitation and actually, the effort of this entire pilgrimage to Gaia, Planet Earth, and all of its inhabitants, especially those that ae endangered or facing extinction now. May we humans come together and evolve toward peace, toward a more skillful stewardship of this fragile place we can still call home -- for now! And may we evolve toward the end of suffering for all beings.
My gratitude is inexpressible, for the innumerable kindnesses I have been offered on this journey. And for all I have seen, learned and shared. May I find ways of putting it to use in the service of those beings who have no voices of their own, or whose voices we cannot hear.
|On the coastal plain. No more hills!|
|A view from my tent.|