ALL DOWN HILL NOW
We did 17 miles today from Waterville to Belgrade. We are staying at the country home of a group of great activists who work on water and other environmental issues here in Maine. Not long after we arrived Tarak Kauff and Mike Tork, key leaders in national Veterans for Peace, pulled up.
While we were taking a break along the road today a young woman jumped out of a car and bowed to our group. We recognized her from yesterday as we entered Waterville. She was at a gas station and as we passed by she stood with an unforgettable look on her face - near tears. She was wearing a fancy blue dress with blue heeled shoes. I handed her a flyer and she thanked me. As it turns out she is part Japanese and went on the Internet and found our walk route schedule and joined us for a couple miles. She was chattering the whole time in Japanese to the various members of Nipponzan Myohoji. Just an example of more walk magic.
The house we are staying at tonight is ripping with energy right now - crowded but full of excitement as our numbers swell. I've been hearing all day from folks who plan to join us at the state capital Hall of Flags tomorrow at 3:00 pm for our closing ceremony/rally/news conference. I am expecting that it should be a fun day.
Years ago in Florida when I organized the 700-mile Walk for the Earth from the Everglades to the state capital in Tallahassee we asked people to come and walk the last mile with us. On that final day 500 people showed up for the closing walk. We won't have that many folks tomorrow but we'll have a nice crowd to share the experience and hear our great speakers and the music.
I am starting to feel just a bit sad as I contemplate the end of the walk. It's such a wonderful feeling of community that having it end is not what I really want. I feel so lucky to be with this incredible and dedicated group of people.