Monday, July 21, 2008

The Footsteps of a Pilgrim

After crossing the Bridge, I entered into beautiful Marin county. I am now literally following in the footsteps of John Francis, as I walk along the same roads as he did, in silence. A couple days later, I entered into the small community at Pt. Reyes Station. As I walked into town, after a long 15-mile day along the highway, the first person I see, is none other than, John Francis himself, standing in the street talking with a friend. I limp over and we give each other a big smile. We sat down on his favorite bench in front of the post office and chatted for a while, making plans to have lunch together the following day. I met up with my moms' friends Steve and Susan, who live in town, and they kindly let me stay at their beautiful home. I had a really great time with them, and exploring the town of Pt. Reyes. Susan is an incredible artist who's paintings I found spread all around town, and Steve is a carpenter who's working on developing an electric vehicle kit for the Prius. Wonderful people.

John turned me on to another active Peace Walker, a man named Brother Northstar, who actually just recently passed through Arcata! I looked him up and found out that he has walked over 15,000 miles on his One Earth, One People pilgrimage, following in the footsteps and continuing the message of Peace Pilgrim. Walk on brother! Click here for a story on his pilgrimage. Learning about Brother Northstar, and spending some quality time with John was incredibly inspiring. I felt as if my pilgrimage was taken to a new level of meaning.

While of course I knew John has had an impact on me, greatly inspiring my walk, it was not until going out to breakfast with Steve (who is also a friend of John's), on my way out of town, that I realized just how much his life has altered my own. Steve and I both noticed how subtly John's life and story has influenced countless peoples' lives, including our own. Steve is now working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, by creating electric vehicles. Shortly after I read John's book, "Planetwalker", I sold my car to my roommate, for two months rent, and began walking and busing around town. Now, for the last 2 months, I have been walking on this Pilgrimage for Peace. John is an incredible, inspiring man, who I now think of as a friend and mentor. But I think what is so powerful about his story and being around him, is how clear it is that he's just a "regular" guy. When you're with him, it's just two people talking, having a conversation. If you look deep into his eyes though, you can sense his incredible journey. He has showed me that one person's life truly can make a difference. For the last two months, this pilgrimage has completely changed my life, it has become my life. Because of John, I am a much better person today than I was a few years ago. It fills me with such hope and excitement, and I wonder how I can direct my life to have such a positive influence on others as well. Thank you John, may we each be the change!

1 comment:

Alia said...

Wow:)
Life is so full of coincidences.
We can never know who we are affecting during our life time. We can only do and be and follow our heart and all of a sudden there is so much love all over.
Your journey has affected me and I am all the way in Salt Lake City. Who would have thought?
You are doing it right now. How exciting my friend.
I am happy you enjoyed Point Reyes it is so beautiful there. I really miss it.
Much Love,
Alia