I am 13 days into the walk. I have walked 11 of those days, covering 73 miles. I have 180 miles to go — 96 of which are scheduled for the Flint Hills Nature Trail. I am thoroughly enjoying the walking — not pushing myself too hard, and imbibing the beauty of nature. The walk has been quite contemplative with time for me to reflect.
Here’s what’s going well.
* Excellent meetings with a pastor on Wichita Peace Center’s Board, as well as another board member. Neither knew about the active civil disobedience campaign at Honeywell and both were very pumped to hear about it. This has led me to imagine our Memorial Day event becoming a regional event, inviting not only Wichita and Lawrence Peace Centers, but Peace Centers and other groups throughout the region. I will sure follow up with Wichita for next Memorial Day.
* This is my fourth reflection on my Peace Walk. I began August 10 at McConnell AFB in Wichita. The next day I reported from the Planeview and Midtown neighborhoods in Wichita. On August 16 I met people in Goessel, KS. I am also sharing reflections on Sisters of St. Joseph (Concordia) as well as Kansas Poor People’s campaign, my church community and other circles. I am working on a reflection that will link this walk to current struggles in Afghanistan.
* Ann Suellentrop will be my support driver from September 1 to 14. I am looking forward to the injection of energy that Ann will bring! We all know of Ann’s incredible communication and organizing skills! I am sure this will bring a lift to the march.
* This walk is changing me. (And that’s not just because I’ve lost 8 lbs:). We can never know the effect of “putting positive energy into the universe,” (or prayer , if you will), but I believe this consciousness has more power than we often give it credit.
* I’ve collected names and addresses for the PeaceWorks Kansas City mailing list and the Kansas Poor People’s campaign. And we have raised about $ 620 for Peace Works so far.
* Covid has definitely contained the walk. There’s been more than one time that I’ve thought about cancelling the walk because of covid. But so far I have decided that since I am basically the only one walking, I can keep it contained. Several people have said they would have given me a free place to stay in the evening, if not for covid.
* I have been stopped twice by Kansas Highway patrol, once near Goessel and once near Marion. Neither of these encounters were all that negative really. What I am doing is legal. Once I explained the walk, I got a cordial, if not indifferent response. I am staying far, far away from roadway, and there are large shoulders on the roads I am walking. Also, there has been some hostility from a few (very few passing drivers and a few local people in Marion. (But we have all learned to respond to this anger and sometimes hate with a non-violent response.)
* My support driver for week 3 cancelled. But fortunately Donna has stepped up! At times I have had to scramble to get a ride back the 6 or 7 miles to the car. Just ask Peace Pilgrim, if she were still alive.
* It is hard to interact with people as they are hurtling down the roadway at 75 mph. (Most people do not wave back, probably simply because they are going so fast.) But a few kind people have stopped to offer me rides and/or water. I have been able to hand them the flier about Peace Walk, as well as the one we did about Honeywell Plant. It is hard to know what people think of my signs. “Human Care, Not Warfare” seems to be the easiest to read. From what I can tell, it is getting the best response.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
— By Charles Carney near Herington, Kansas, walking (meandering) to the Kansas City National (In)Security Campus