Friday, April 28, 2017

Hello from LaCrosse, Indiana!

Many blessings to report already on this walk installment.  Starting with mercy from the airline (American) over a baggage check-in question that could have resulted in a $150. extra charge(!) I have enjoyed hospitality in 4 different places so far, as I get on with the task at hand and try to reorient myself to consecutive days of walking a fair distance.  The first walk day was only about 5 miles and I had thought that there would be a couple of 8 - 10 mile days after that.  But I'd got it wrong, and instead have done 15+ miles in these last couple of days...  Weather has been varied; Wednesday was hot, and then yesterday(especially) and today were cold, overcast and windy. Lots of rain expected tomorrow, and an opportunity to see if I've adequately rethought the wet weather walk strategy.

People have been awesome and generous.  Road angels in the Chicago area, and then in Crown Point, Hebron and here in LaCrosse, Indiana.  Sometimes people let me make an offering of my own, but mostly I'm on the receiving end - still learning how to say 'THANK YOU!'  My appreciation is yuuge!

One note on flora; the lilacs here are immense, and growing everywhere. They're in bloom now and it's a very heady perfume downwind!

Back to cardinal country!  (Sorry about the screen...)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Counting down - again!

This feels familiar -- one week out from 'lift-off', scurrying around to finish whatever must be done, or else put off for the next several months.  And indulging in a little nostalgia in the form of a line from a poem, leftover from the days when I aspired to write such things!

'The faces of arrival and departure are winking at me
from between the lines of my oral history...'

...written during a 'creative period' spent at Tassajara Zen monastery, during which every rock and twig seemed laden with inspirational potential.  The 'oral history' was a talk every new student was asked to present, called a 'way-seeking mind' talk.  Now here I am again, sharing my way-seeking mind with whomever may be inclined to tune in(!)

In the San Francisco Bay Area it is spring in spades - after a drenching winter local flora is greening up, leafing out and, as it continues to rain, celebrating the season in a riot of new growth (much of it needing to be trimmed!).  I have connected with several generous Chicago and Indiana  hosts to send me off as I begin the last 1000+ mile leg of this walking venture.  It will be interesting to see if politics/national mood plays a part in my encounters with people this season; it has not done so very often in the past.  News media falls so far short of reflecting the great diversity of opinion and concern across this country.  Though I am very grateful for the presence of our '4th Estate', in most of its many forms!

Will post again from the trail - the American Discovery Trail!

What luck to have a walking trail accessible right from my neighborhood!