Friday, September 24, 2010

Why They Walk.

Carrying the "Victories" flag, Opening Ceremony, 2008.

My son leaped out to walk with me upon his return from Paris, Day 1 of 2007.

Me with two stalwart supporters of the walk, Day 2 of 2008.

Crossing the 5k finish line, "Inspiring Hope" walk, 2010.

It's the first day of the 2010 3 Day Walk with terrible weather so far. I hope that the rain holds off for the rest of the weekend, even though it will probably still be damp sleeping tonight in the tents. I am planning to go cheer friends and the entire Kindred Spirits team on Sunday mid-morning as they come through Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.

Though I'm not walking this year, I'm thinking of the 15+ victims or survivors of cancer whom I honor even now with shorter walks. One of them -- Tracy Kudrna -- is herself walking for the second year in a row. It's a large commitment of time to train for such a walk, and the concurrent fund raising does not come easily to everyone. So my hat is off to each of the walkers this year, a very tough economic year. I've added some photos to this post from the 2007 and 2008 when I myself walked. No other experience in one's life is comparable to the pure energy generated by walking for a cause so much larger than any one person. Every one of these people walks because they care.

I'll close with an excerpt written into this blog by my son James after he had lunch with us on Day 2 of 2007:

Essentially, a large group of people (mostly women!) have devoted themselves to an idea, one that does not make claims for an ultimate truth or represent a political end but rather one that fully asserts the need to care for one another. Many people my age are quite cynical -- I at times certainly am -- yet watching this spectacle, I came to realize that many of the people throwing their legs forward, foot after foot, enduring tremendous pain, walk in the memory of lost friends and family, and quite a few themselves are survivors. They walk not only for themselves and their immediate circle, but for all threatened by a horrible disease, and no one could be a cynic in the face of such a diverse group of motivated and positive humans. This is the sort of activism and thinking we speak of in sad remembrance when talking about the civil rights movement (one that Annie was a part of), or the sort of energy we dream about when we talk about changing our future as a community or a country, but what Annie and all involved in this walk are doing shows that the times aren't so dark as they are serious. Today after eating lunch with my mother, father and Mary Gardner, I drove back along I-5 with a giant smile on my face and felt so so proud of my mother and honored to have sat alongside all of those who walked today.

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