January 23rd, 2018 (4:00 PM)

I just came home after walking eight miles. I’m a little tired and a more than a little stiff. We live in a suburb that is still semi-rural in places. It snowed last night, and some roads were clean and some weren’t. Most of the streets were just wet, having been plowed and salted early in the morning. I walked for a while along a bike path that was still covered with a couple inches of heavy, sloppy snow. My footprints were the first to mark that trail.

I like to walk. It can be a meditative practice. Walking forces a person to slow down. It allows the individual to observe his or her surroundings in a way that is impossible while driving a car. While I hiked the bike path, I had time to look at the snow covering the tree branches, weighing them down. Occasionally. a breeze would move the branches, and the wet snow would fall softly to the ground. I was struck by the universal whiteness of the fresh snow. Even with grey, overcast skies, the reflection of the light off of the snow was bright and glaring. I heard birds twittering in the trees. I saw a hawk floating on a thermal up above the trail. I had time to look and listen and feel and think.

I usually don’t walk so far. I have been increasing the distance of my travels because in three weeks I will be participating in the longest walk that I have ever attempted. The “Longest Walk 5.3” goes from near Seattle to Washington DC. That’s 2800 miles, give or take a hundred or two. I am guessing that we will walk at least fifteen miles a day. I need to be in some kind of shape before I join the journey. I am gradually working myself up to where I think I need to be to keep up with everyone else.

The walk starts in Blaine, WA, on Friday, February 16th. It probably won’t be as cold as it is here in Wisconsin, but it will be cold. It will probably be rainy too, if I remember the weather in the Pacific Northwest. So, wandering around here in the snow and wind is not a bad way of getting ready for the big walk. It won’t be a shock when I get there and start the pilgrimage.

Our loved one called us from jail today. She is concerned about me going on the Longest Walk. She is worried that I won’t be available to help her. Realistically, there is nothing that I can do here that I can’t do from two thousand miles away. Karin will handle the day-to-day affairs while I am on the road. If there are problems, Karin can contact me. If there is an emergency, the loved one call call me on my cell phone (collect).

The loved one asked me to be present when she gets sentenced. I don’t know when that will be. She doesn’t know when that will be. Nobody knows yet. The sentencing won’t happen for a couple months, at the earliest. However, it’s likely that the hearing will take place before the walk ends on July 14th in Washington DC. I promised the young woman that I will be there, along with Karin, in that courtroom for the sentencing. I will be with that girl. When I find out the date of the hearing, wherever I am, I will quit the walk, and find my way back home.

So, now I know that I won’t complete the entire journey. I will just do as much as I can.


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