We were grateful to be able to stay at the Oakwood Road Community Center in Ames.
I believe today is our longest mileage march of about 15 miles. More rain is predicated for this afternoon. Additionally there are flash flood warnings. Because of the distance we plan to leave soon so this will be short.
The group is becoming more of a whole, closer together as we learn each other’s names and share our stories. As Donnielle said, “we are a tribe.” Donnielle is our spiritual leader and helps us with awesome prayers.
I’ll just share a few things I’ve heard so far. Alton was talking about the strong bond that forms between a child and an animal. He spoke fondly of a horse from his youth. When he and his friends went to ride their horses, his was the only one who came up to him every time. He talked about how easy is was to ride the horse that was in tune with where he wanted to go. “I really miss that horse.”
Matthew Lone Bear and I talk a good bit about photography, videography and drones. He also goes for extreme camera angles sometimes, for example lying on his back.
Mahmud Fitil shared stories related to tar sands spills, saying no commercial lab will analyze the water samples from areas of tar sands spills, saying they fear repercussions from the government. Fitil went to Doon, Iowa, train derailment and oil spill in June. He said there was little activity related to the cleanup. The smell was worse than that of raw gasoline, causing some to vomit.
Miriam Kashia and I compared my Quakerism to her Universal Unitarian church and community. I told her the Quaker Social Change Ministry program we used at North Meadow Circle of Friends was modeled after the program created by the Universalists. Miriam says her new church is the greenest church in Iowa.
Time to march now. Practicing hope.