The Trek Continues

June 23

AB and I spent the morning proof reading the galleys. We walked to the campground where the group arrived today. The channel 5 news had interviewed AZ and Barbara. The three boys, Kris and Bob went to see E.T. while AB, AZ, Barbara and I brought dinner back to our motel and watched the news. It was great! AZ and Barbara left but returned later to sleep. It’s raining and wet out and the trailer isn’t big enough for everyone. It’s especially nice doing things with AZ and Barbara. We talked about having a silent vigil and fast in front of the white house for 2 days and a night upon our arrival in October. AZ and Barbara brought over honey ice cream for a night snack.

June 24

I spent the morning alone in our room while everyone else went to the trailer for breakfast. I got out some letters and a press release. Everyone came over at lunch so AZ could make his giant banana splits – I’ve met my match in ice cream addiction. After lunch AZ, AB, Barbara and I all went downtown. AZ treated us all to the movie Annie. It was a fun movie that we all enjoyed.

June 25

I got up at 5am to shower and wash my hair. I skipped breakfast to start walking early. After lunch a farmer stopped to talk to us for over an hour. He was very distressed over the economy, as were several farmers we’ve been talking to across the country. In the afternoon AZ bought AB, Barbara and I some Hanson sodas. I walked 20 miles easily today after our several day rest. There was a lot of cloud cover and it was cool all day.

June 26

I walked and canned with AB this morning. AZ and Barbara drove ahead and then would walk back and meet us. AB and I met a lady named Mary Peace, who told us to stop by to see a couple named McFadden in a little town we were coming to. We stopped and visited in the afternoon. They have a daughter and son involved in the peace movement in Palo Alto, CA.

June 27

I walked a little with Barbara this morning and Kris this afternoon. AZ bought the four of us cold drinks. After dinner an older couple stopped by and visited for a long while. Their names are Walt and Midge Cranson. They had Peace stay with them twice and invited us to their ranch tomorrow. They saw us on the highway and then called the McFaddens, who told them we’d already been by. We slept in a wheat field in a furrow between rows.

June 28

We walked seven and a half miles into the town of La Junta and went to the post office to pick up mail. There was money from home (much needed) and a letter from Teresa Hasayampa and one from Joe Vignos, our friend from the Theosophical Society. He’s now in Peru. We ran into the Mennonite minister who’d stopped by the road a couple of days ago. He invited us to his house for showers. He and his wife, Stanley and Marilyn Smucker, were terrific! They served us a beautiful lunch of rice and fried vegetables from their garden and a fantastic raw garden salad. Also delicious ice cold mint tea. At 93 degrees in the shade today it was wonderful! We drove to Cranson’s and set up our tent and trailer, visited a museum in town and an old historical fort. We went to a Methodist church in the evening where the McFadden’s son Dave was giving a slide show on his trip to Russia. The Cranson’s and the Smucker’s were there. There was a nice pot luck dinner. After the slide show Dave introduced us and we all got up and spoke to the group. Afterwards we talked individually to people and one woman insisted on giving us $20 because she liked the fact that we didn’t accept money. A reporter who had come to hear Dave interviewed me. Toward the end a man named Michael, who we had met earlier at the Cranson’s, played his guitar and sang a beautiful song. We didn’t get to bed until midnight. Roosters started crowing at 3am!

June 29

I got up with almost no sleep. Jeff and I drove to the radio station where Walt had set up an on-the-air interview. I also invited Michael Riversong to join us. I spoke for a while then Jeff spoke, and then we all talked and finished with Michael’s song. The weather was so hot and I was so tired. After walking to the lunch spot everyone jumped into the canal to float down for a couple of miles and cool off. I volunteered to drive down the road to where the bridge intersected the canal so that AZ, the official driver, could go with Barbara. I parked the car and ran down the canal until I reached everyone and jumped in. The temperature was over a hundred. I put up our tent and a big storm came up around midnight. AZ, Barbara and AB and I were already in the tent to escape all the biting insects.

June 30

Walking was nice and cool with cloud cover from last night’s storm. I walked 15 miles to the KOA campgrounds we had decided to stay at without stopping. It was a nice, short day. We helped the owner cut a new covering he had for his pool and then jumped in. We stayed by the water most of the day, washed clothes, showered and washed our hair. AZ, Barbara, AB and I went into town and bought the makings for a banana split and took everything to a park for a picnic. It’s Barbara’s last night. I’m really going to miss being a foursome. AZ and Barbara have been together constantly. We walked around the park and did some canning and talked to people. AB and I slept in the tent, away from all the biting insects.

July 1

I walked into town with AB this morning. We drew for new chores last night and I’ve drawn cook, so I did some shopping. It’s hard to find good bread or butter in Colorado. I met with Barbara to say goodbye and AZ went to the bus station with her. We only walked 13 miles out of town today. I made rice pudding for dinner with oranges and wheat,and raisin cinnamon muffins. I made a good sauce for the rice by shaking a bottle of powdered milk, water, honey and cinnamon. AZ, AB and I drove into town after dinner to help an older man AZ had seen earlier, broken down in old bus. He had identified himself as a teacher of the truth. AB worked hard and conscientiously on the bus but couldn’t get it going. AZ was drilling the man who got rather bizarre at the end. He felt the “yellow people” were coming to the US in droves and were all trained militia who would bring Armageddon. He was painfully negative about everything.

July 2

Everyone got up early by 4am to try and beat the heat. I left at 5:20 and walked 12 miles. I was too tired to stay awake and rode to our night spot. We had lots of company in the afternoon. And older man with a beer and cigarette in hand came from down the road and brought us a bag full of beer cans. The reporter from a local paper came by for a picture and interview. A cross-country biker stopped by and told us where we could get showers two days down the road. AZ picked up another member of the “Christ Family” named Matthew, who had a woman with him he was helping to get to West Virginia. She is an alcoholic, drug addict and chain smoker and she keeps trying to seduce him. They had been sitting by the side of the road for two days without eating. As a Christ Family member Matthew isn’t allowed to hitch-hike. He just sits and waits. AZ brought them here, fed them and offered them unlimited hospitality. Matthew is now sitting by the road and the woman is next to our tent trying to get something, I’m not sure what, from Pete and Jeff.

We went into a little town this afternoon, population 95, where Bob had been before. He arranged for a woman to show us through a little art gallery where the local women paint together. The mayor, a middle-aged woman, talked with us for quite a while.

July 3

I’m hot and tired today. I rode in the car and slept in the afternoon, then I called Mom. It’s hard to not be home with Cindy pregnant. My calling for this pilgrimage went deep and the plans were in place before I knew. Thank goodness for Mom and Dad.

July 4

I got up to make breakfast but Bob hadn’t cleaned any pots from dinner. He thought it was funny. We found a free campground with lake swimming and showers. AZ left to go alone for a few days. I fight with myself sometimes to maintain my focus on the pilgrimage. After a day of frustration AB and I talked and at least together we can try to keep our attention on the prayer and accept the surface problems. The boys had fireworks and set them off.

July 5

Day off. AB and I took the car into Garden City. We cashed in cans and went shopping. We found a great place for tomorrow after the walk. A swimming pool the size of a football field, a museum and a zoo – all free.

July 6

We walked into Holcomb and picked up our mail. There was a lot of mail from home – always so good to get letter visits! We set up camp and AB and I drove back to Garden City. We received money from home and couldn’t wait to spend it. I bought a pattern and some material to make a couple of baby smocks. I love baby things! Later we drove everyone to the pool.

AZ is back. The air here is full of the stench of feed lots. There are slaughter houses everywhere in Kansas.

July 7

I left in the car with AB in the morning. We stopped at the local newspaper office and talked to a reporter about our walk and about Peace Pilgrim. Today is the first anniversary of her death. I only walked about 9 miles today. I’m feeling lethargic despite a nice cool breeze and cloud cover all day.

I made dinner tonight but turned the noodles into mush. Bob ate the olives I intended to mix into it. A flop all around! It rained hard at night and came right through our tent.

July 8

AB and I got up drenched. Everything of ours was in the tent with us so consequently everything – all of our clothes, etc. were wet. I drove most of the day while AB canned. At dinner we drew lots for our next chore period. I’ll be driver and AB is pot scrubber. We told the cooks we’re withdrawing our food money and will buy our own starting on the 11th. I don’t want to keep asking everyone to read the labels and then having things full of junk or not vegetarian. It rained hard again at night and AB got up raving and left for the trailer and all the guys.

July 9

I got up soaking wet again. We couldn’t move the trailer out because the ground had turned into mud. AB and I stayed back and hung out our things to dry while we waited for the ground to dry. We were never able to get the trailer out alone but eventually a man came along with a truck and chain and pulled us out. We found a nice campground at Dodge City by a big lake. It is cloudy but warm.

July 10

It rained and stormed all night but we wrapped our bags in tube tents inside the bigger tent. It worked! We kept cozy and dry. We had the day off and did the usual – shopping, laundry and showers. We had a going away meal for Kris who is leaving early in the morning. We parked at the end of town in a vacant lot and put up our tents. Surprisingly, no one bothered us.

July 11

I got up at 4:30 to drive Kris to the bus then came back and slept a little more. I had breakfast in our tent. This is our first day of eating our own food. I’m driver now and I got the car stuck in the mud on one of our morning stops. AB, AZ and I are doing a lot of canning. We’re going to start splitting our excess between us. No one else cans and we’re paying for all of the gas and campgrounds. A little extra will be nice! We camped at a park in the middle of a tiny town. No one seems to care. That’s surprising.

July 12

AB asked for permanent toilet duty and helped me and Pete (my co-site selector) break camp. We dropped AB off two miles up the road. I did a lot of canning today. It’s fun when I’m driver and don’t walk as many miles. I probably canned a total of eleven miles. AB drives the last two to four miles to pick the evening site for me. Twenty is more than his limit, too, when canning all day. We’re going through a lot of little towns and talking to people. A trucker gently threw out several cans today as he went by me. I got my pattern cut out for my first baby project and started sewing.

July 13

Pete and I stopped by the Greensburg paper and talked to a reporter, a young woman who later drove out and took pictures. I had in-depth conversations with many people during the day. Two older ladies in a drugstore, a 26 year-old man, a farmer, and two older men at a gas station. We drove back to town after dinner with everyone except John. AB, AZ and I used canning money to go to a swimming pool where we cooled off and had showers. We stopped at a Friends Church at 7:30pm and listened to a group of musical evangelical kids prepare for a Christian style concert. We got home late and tired.

July 14

It was a short day for the whole group, only 16 to 17 miles to Pratt. We parked in the yard of some people whose son invited us off the road today. We did some shopping and spent the evening at the library. We cleaned up in the bathroom.

We got a nice letter from Barbara and she sent me a hat (my fetish!) and some insect repellent. We got back to Sue and Marvin Sloan’s house and stayed up late talking in the yard. They gave us a lot of vegetables from their garden – zucchini, carrots and potatoes – and a bucket of aluminum cans.

July 15

I’m so tired today! I went to bed last night too tired to sleep. I didn’t walk much. We stopped at a fish and Christmas tree farm to ask if they might know of a place where we could park and they invited us to stay. We put up our tents in the middle of the trees and drove back to Pratt to check the mail and stop at the library. We met a young reporter at the library, Kent, who was so happy to find us and asked if he could drive out later with another reporter.

We arrived back at camp and Ruby, the lady of the house, came out and invited us to dinner. We agreed on a pot luck at 6pm. The reporters were there, Kent and a young woman, and they stayed all evening taking pictures and joining in. Kent even ate with us. After dinner Dan showed everyone all around the farm. I stayed with Ruby and did dishes, took a bath and visited with her sister-in-law across the street. Very homey. Again, I chatted until quite late and then stayed up with insomnia!

July 16

We left before sunrise and it was hot already. We came to Kingman after 16 miles and found a nice park to stay at close to downtown. We drove out to the 20 mile point and waited for everyone, then shuttled the group back to the park and a regular Friday night on the town – movies and everything!

July 17

The weather is running up into the hundreds and very humid. I have gotten into chiggers and am bitten all over, especially my torso. I’m itching like crazy! We found a campground with a nice lake. We went in to take showers and then I drove with AB, AZ and Pete to Wichita. I am soaking wet in the humidity. I called home and was able to talk with Mom and Cindy.

July 18

I walked into Wichita. I’m site selector and picked a spot along the river in the middle of town, behind a shopping center. AB and AZ got lost. I couldn’t figure out where they could be but they finally showed up. It was an exceptionally hot day. I sat in the trailer in the evening sewing (the boys and Bob went to a movie) and the water is running off of me.

July 19

It’s a day off today. Ab, AZ and I went to a recycler to turn in aluminum cans. AB and I walked around some stores doing some window shopping. We drove to the north side of town to park on the property of a couple who offered. We didn’t see them at all except for a couple of minutes when we drove in. AB called Ed and we’re able to begin making plans.

July 20

It got very hot walking today. We found a park with a swimming pool and spent the afternoon at the pool. I showered, shampooed and shaved! There was a nice cool evening breeze. I’m getting excited to get on with plans.

July 21

We walked into El Dorado and picked up mail and finally heard from Sigurd about the International Peace Caravan. It sounds wonderful. I wrote off to him immediately. It will be in early 1983 and last just 4 months. I walked three and a half miles in the late afternoon to the campgrounds and nearly collapsed from the heat. It’s over 100 degrees. AB stayed up until after 11pm trying to get Ed. He left a message at Ed’s motel in Salt Lake for Ed to leave a message for him (AB) at the Phoenix office.

July 22

An unusual day! I started out around 6am and noticed shortly a large black horizon with a bright white light moving rapidly toward us. We were about two and a half miles from the car and ran like crazy to beat it. We made it as the rain arrived. Several of us decided not to walk and AZ, who was walking, and I had a small incident of words. Later I was walking into town and it was very hot again. AB drove by on his way to call the office and I was relieved to have a ride. I went to the library and five minutes later AB came in excitedly to get me. The office had been waiting for him to call and immediately had booked him on a flight to Salt Lake City. He had to reach the Wichita airport, 60 miles away, in 3 hours. He’s very happy to be involved in the Research & Development field – “his” area! I hurried with him back to the trailer where he changed clothes and packed a small bag. We stopped for gas and went about two miles and had a blow out! Our spare was one of those few mile temporaries and I told him to take off hitch-hiking. He jumped out of the car and stuck out his thumb and got picked up so fast he didn’t even say good-bye – then he remembered to shout back at me, “I’ll miss you.” Thanks, I thought, standing there in near tears. Now what do I do?

I decide to walk with my tunic and wait for someone to offer me a ride. When you hitch you don’t know who’s going to stop. But when you walk, helpful people are sometimes inspired to inquire if you need a ride. I got a short ride from a man and his dog and was back on the road again when a car pulled up. I looked over to see KENNY – from the Moscow walk, with Jeff next to him. Kenny and Betsy had stopped by on their way east and AB had been able to tell the boys when he went by on his way to airport that I was stuck. Then Kenny found the boys and came to find me. It was so good to see Kenny! Betsy, too. I like them both so much and I had some information that I think Kenny was searching for. Betsy gave me a boutique scarf she had made. They weren’t able to stay long.

AZ and I went back to get the car and make up after our argument. We drove into town where we had to buy a new tire. We stopped and bought ice cream for Bob, who has a birthday tomorrow, and picked up a letter for AZ at the post office from Barbara with a note for me. I slept in the trailer.

July 23

AB is gone, AZ is site selector. I walked and canned about 13 miles today and rode the rest. We shuttled to a campground where we will be for three nights, only $3.50 a night with showers. We have only 7 formal miles to walk tomorrow and the next day we have off. AZ helped me put up my tent. I love my privacy! I very contentedly sat on my rolled up sleeping bag and fixed my little dinner of cabbage with cream cheese and pineapple. I sipped on ice tea and felt like I was in seventh heaven.

AZ joined me to go over the P.P. manuscript and we had a nice old fashioned chum talk.

July 24

I had a nice quiet morning and then went out canning with AZ to get in our miles. We talked about a one to one theory – “A kind of theory by which we try to predict and explain behavior in terms of its causation by beliefs, intentions, emotions, traits of character, and so on.” Interesting.

I felt good about myself and my decisions, realizing new insights. I drove to the next big town, 31 miles, with AZ, Pete and Bob to cash in cans. There were no stores there that recycle. I hope that won’t become a problem. It was a beautiful night – cool, clear sky and few insects!

July 25

It was a nice, relaxing morning, and a day off. All of us drove to another lake for lunch and sun bathing. It was a day of quiet walks and chummy talks with AZ. The evening was nice – I wasn’t even sleepy. In fact I didn’t sleep much.

July 26

I walked and canned and then drove so that AZ could do the heavy canning. It was the most humid, uncomfortable day yet. We drove into a little town to cash in cans at a place that was staffed by developmentally disabled individuals. We met a social worker who teaches third grade when school is in session.

Ticks are outrageous today. A woman named Missy, who is riding a horse cross country in the opposite direction, passed by and stopped for a few minutes this evening. She has a dog that rides in front of her across the saddle.

Another night of insomnia. It must be catchy. I stayed up talking to AZ until after midnight.

July 27

I didn’t do much walking today, four and a half miles of canning. We parked at the library for lunch in Iola and I stayed in town. I’m tired! We spent the afternoon at a swimming pool. At 5pm I left to call AB and he is so excited for his future and I am excited for him. I was so aglow with the feeling of “dancing” as I left the phone and walked down the street that many people beamed at me, said hello and offered me rides. And I wasn’t wearing my tunic!

I called Cindy in the evening to tell her about AB and the job he has for her if she wants it. I got “home” late and slept in the trailer.

July 28

The day was cooler than usual. I walked and canned. We drove into Fort Scott and went swimming for a while. I picked up all of my birthday mail. Loving it! Cindy’s birthday poem to me:

There is nothing nicer than ‘little things’
Somehow they stay in the mind
And have a way of making a day
The brighter and happier kind
There’s the sound of a bird at daybreak
Wild flowers bursting in bloom
The clasp of a hand, the sound of a laugh
The warmth of a cozy room

There is nothing nicer than ‘little things’
And here’s hoping that all life through
The joy of seeing and knowing them
Will gladden each day for you.

July 29

We walked a short day to a KOA campground. All the guys went to Pizza Hut for lunch while I stayed by the pool writing letters. Later I went to town with AZ to just poke around and go to a restaurant with a salad bar.

July 30

A day off. I went for a walk in the morning. We had to check out of the campground at 11am. We did errands around town and then drove out eight miles to set up camp. We drove into the next town – Nevada – and went swimming. AZ and I went to a restaurant with a salad bar again and a man approached us who turned out to be a Catholic priest. He had salad with us then left to eat his fish at another table (uncomfortable that we were vegetarians.) Then he came back to finish eating with us. We talked for a couple of hours. He seemed very orthodox, naïve and nice. When leaving he asked us to pray for him.

AZ and I sat in his car in the evening listening to beautiful classical music and bathing Father John Curran in white light.

July 31

Today is my birthday – 35 years old. I walked, canned and picked out a camp site at a park in Nevada. After setting up I treated the three boys to swim at the municipal pool. Bob didn’t want to come – he never swims. AZ brought a tablet to converse with a deaf 18 year old girl. We dropped the boys off at five and I took AZ back to yesterday’s restaurant for dinner. Father Curran was there again. He came in just as we were finishing eating. He joined us again and we had a fascinating evening. I definitely sense a past life recognition. We arrived back at camp and all the windows on my tent had been raised. When I questioned the group I found that Bob had been using it.

Three C’s to eliminate from our lives, as given to us by Father John: criticism, complaints and condemnations. I talked until late with AZ,

August 1

Drawing chores for the beginning of my last 10 days before a visit home. I’m site selector and Bob is co-selector. I’m tired today and walked and canned minimally. I found a church camp and the minister let us stay on the grounds. It was nicely shaded with trees, thank goodness. It was an extremely hot day – 105 degrees. I went to bed early.

August 2

I walked and canned and drove out in the boonies at the end of the day to cash in our cans. We went to a reservoir with a swimming beach and showers. I stayed up late.

August 3

I drove the car out from the campgrounds while the guys walked. All went the wrong way except AZ. We walked to the car and talked there for a while. We drove into Hermitage for ice and AZ walked back while I drove. It’s SO hot! I laid around the beach and then sat on a table overlooking the lake at dusk with AZ. Fishermen were trying to catch fish in nets and we could hear them yell, “Pull it up! We got one.” We sat quietly, bathing the captives in light. Then we heard them say, “Darn it! Must have gotten through a hole.” It didn’t just happen once. It kept happening.

A ranger came by in the evening and told us we couldn’t put up our tents. I slept in the front seat of AZ’s car.

August 4

The violence in Beirut is keying a lot of thoughts. Flashes or insights from my “inner teachers” communicating about the importance of positive thought – white light and prayer – and its role in my life. I can imagine contingencies of people vigiling prayerfully at hot spots around the world. For now – Washington DC in October. We are planning on having a vigil in front of the white house for two days. AZ offered $200 to help with costs of printing, phone calls, ads.

It’s a ridiculously hot day!

August 5

So hot again. The boys started walking about 4:30am . I went 16 miles to Camdenton and found a terrific health food store – for the first time in a long time. Also found a campground. So glad to have a pool and showers. The ladies room had a bath tub!

August 6

Today is the anniversary of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15am Tokyo time, yesterday our time. In a pompous display the US set off a test bomb in Nevada today, 9 hours later. Hiroshima was six and a half square miles. When the bomb dropped four and a half square miles disappeared. A radio announcer today called it “The Day of Wrath”.

AZ canned for 10 miles even though it’s a day off, so he can walk 5 miles less for two days. I drove the car into town and while waiting for him met a man my age named Willy Stiles. We talked until AZ arrived and then the three of us talked longer in the library. He is a pilgrim gardener. We invited him to join us for dinner, which he did. At 5pm I called AB and heard all his good news. He is now director of research and development for the entire corporation. So many blessings.

August 7

It was a cool, drizzling day. Didn’t do too much walking but I did get a lot of cans. A man called me over to his dumpster that was half full of cans. Willy drove by with a bag of cans and a Rainbow guide book. I went into town with AZ to a swimming pool. There wasn’t much sun but there were showers and clean hair! We drove to Marriot to locate a theater for tomorrow night, a belated birthday celebration.

August 8

After walking and canning I drove into town with AZ. First we went to a pool for sun and showers. I found a tick in my head! AZ got it out for me. We went to a nice salad bar for dinner then to the play Grease at the Marriot. We went in clean jeans, feeling a little timid about how casual we would be dressed for a play at the Marriot. Turns out many others were as casual as we were! It was fun but the play wasn’t that good. We got to camp around 11:30pm. It was very cold all night.

August 9

I woke up tired and walked very little. I drove into Jefferson City and met everyone at the library. AZ and I did chores – cashed in cans, went grocery shopping, picked up mail, bought a bus ticket for my visit home. We picked everyone up and drove to a campground 10 miles east. After dinner four of us drove back to a shopping mall. I called AB – I’m going to spend an extra $85 and stop at Phoenix on my visit to see Cindy. AB is living in a cottage.

A big crow at camp flew into my head!

August 10

I got up to a shower and clean hair! Everyone road into town. AZ and the boys and I went to a laundromat and grocery store. AZ bought my take-along food and a lead pencil. We dropped the boys at the library and I went to the bus station with AZ. We listened to an account of President Truman’s post A-Bomb statement and of stories by survivors. My heart aches for the violence perpetrated by humankind. On the bus I enjoyed the pleasure of watching rain drops dance on the windows.

August 11

I slept on and off through the night on the bus and arrived in Denver at 8am, where Barbara picked me up. We talked, did errands and painted boards for a vigil sign for our arrival in Washington. We called an old friend, John Thom, who has changed his name to John Chevalier – his mother Sandy’s maiden name. I went to a meeting with Barbara to see a slide show, “No Frames, No Boundaries.” I met a man named Stephen Basch and will send him caravan information. I’m thinking about showing films at the vigil.

August 12

I walked to the store with Barbara to buy food for the bus, washed my hair and got a call from AB, who would be meeting me when my bus arrived. I boarded the bus at noon and sat with a young girl until Pueblo. I shared pears with her and the woman behind me, JoAnn, a beautiful 80 year old German lady. Then I met Jamie on the bus, an exquisite Mexican poet. We talked from Taos to Santa Fe. There was a near violent incident at the Albuquerque terminal. I sat quietly, bathing the situation in light. Fortunately, no violence occurred…

Unexpected and Devastating Surprise

From this point on, there is no more journaling. The following days were surreal and I have only snippets of images and memory. I recall arriving at the bus station in Arizona. AB wasn’t there and never came. I wasn’t able to get in touch with him so I took a cab to his cottage. He wasn’t there when I arrived and I waited outside. I was excited to see him. Eventually he showed up. I don’t remember our conversation or the reason he gave for not meeting me.

The next thing I remember is being in his living room as he told me that his leaving was not just for work. He was leaving me. Words were coming out but I could no longer hear them. They are more like floating sounds and symbols. I can’t think or breathe.

I remember crying. I couldn’t stop. I can see myself in the bathroom, inconsolable. At some point I can see him coming to get me. He picked me up and carried me to the couch where he made love to me. I’m not able to think, but it must be that this was all a mistake. Then he held me and told me that was his way of saying goodbye. I cannot compute what just happened. Pain, violation, confusion. I have no memory of the ensuing days. I don’t remember taking a bus to my parent’s home in California though I know I did. I have no recall of anything or how much time passed. I don’t even remember the thing that was most important to me, seeing my daughter and her growing belly.

I vaguely remember staying with my parents. They were distraught over what had happened and worried about my grief and withdrawal. I left their house to go for a walk one morning and came to a field. I walked some distance into it and suddenly had an unexpected vision of being surrounded by angels, beautiful beings of light. They encircled me and radiated unconditional love and support. I knew that I was okay and that I could go on. When I walked back into my parents’ house they knew when they saw me that something remarkable must have happened to lead to my transformed appearance.

In September I flew back to join the group. We arrived in Washington D.C. six months after our departure from San Francisco. It was October and very cold. We were able to get a permit to hold a vigil in front of the white house for 36 hours. We spoke to many people and were joined by friends and well-wishers during the day. At night police came by every hour and ran their nightsticks across the bars of the metal fence behind us. After the vigil a service was held for us at a nearby church, where we bid good-bye to one another. Like so many other things, the walk had come to an end.


Cheryl Canfield, CCHT, 2023