Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Peace Pilgrim Down. Repeat. Peace Pilgrim Down comes the post that I really didn't want to have to write...

Right after my last post, I stood up, exhausted from walking all night, but fully intending to walk to Baltimore.

Then something in my stomach gave. I ran to the bathroom.

I'll spare you the gory details, but it became clear that my body was dangerously dehydrated; my body in particular requires large amounts of water to keep things working the way they should, or things get really, really bad. After I staggered out of the bathroom, the Best Western hotel manager watched me go with suspicion, since it was obvious I wasn't staying there but had been hanging around a long time. I step out into the morning air and it was already cold. My body screeched in protest, begging for sunlight. I ran into a McDonald's and sat by the window (by the way, I take back many of the nasty things I've said about fast food restaurants, because, however atrocious their food may be, they always let me use their bathroom and refill my water bottle and sit there, free of charge).

So I go into Mcdonald's and I contemplate the long 6 month walk ahead, the walk that my body is clearly not strong enough to make.

I think about the dire warnings from my friends about the sketchy timing of my trip, that it will be even colder once I get to the MidWest--I shiver at the thought (no pun intended).

I think about all the love that came forth from my friends and my love for them, and my realization, after my trip to Israel, that sacred sites are not nearly as sacred as people.

And I realized there is a vast difference between where I am in my physical life and where the original Peace Pilgrim was in hers.

I realized that I was ready for three days of walking, three days of talking about peace, three days of connecting wtih God, three days of sleeping outside in the freezing cold.

I realized that I am ready for 6 months of talking about peace, and 6 months of connecting with God.

I realized that I am not ready for 6 months of walking and 6 months of sleeping outside in the freezing cold.

I realized that I had no I.D., no money, no way of getting back home.

I realized that my only hope of salvation, that can I see, is the hotel manager of the Best Western in Denton, Maryland, a man who believes I just tried to rip him off.

I realized that I was about to be taught a colossal lesson in humility.

I threw a line up to my spirit guides and asked them what they thought. They said they didn't care what decision I made, that the most important thing is that I remember who I am when I make those decisions.

That would be Lesson #1. Lesson #2 involved me pretty much weeping in front of the Best Western hotel manager, trying to convince him that I was totally at his mercy, that I hadn't just tried to rob his hotel (that took some convincing) and to please not get the night manager fired for letting me in. He...and this guy was a true saint...gave me the hotel phone, allowed me to call my friend, my cousin and my mom.

Long story short, my brief stint as a peace pilgrim has been postponed. Part of me, the ego part, feels that I owe you all an apology for letting you down. But that would be ridiculous, because this wasn't expected of me from you at all. This I chose this for myself. And I thank you all for SUPPORTING me with such love.

I don't regret doing this, even though I couldn't see it through. The last three days have been extremely challenging, a exercise in meditation, patience, faith and resourcefulness.

I have no idea what my future will be now. I didn't leave much of my past behind, so it's hard to see where I will go. But I do know that spring is a better time to start a journey like this than September. That gives me half a year to discern my Father's will, half a year to get stronger...

...half a year to maybe try again.


  1. I have to say you last post had me very worried. I am relieved that you will be postponing your trip for no other reason then you walking through the country in the dead of winter scared the life out of me. When you are settled and safe please phone home to someone here in NY...all the fuzzies are very worried. And of course if you need anything call one of us please. XOXO

  2. Just heard your story on NPR podcast. Love the eagerness to boldly step into the fray to spread calm.