Natural Date 559
He hollered from the window of his gray pickup truck, “Are you okay?”
”Yes sir, I said getting up from the picnic table, “I’m just resting. I’m walking across America for Natural Law.” I handed him my card through his window. He responded with an interested gesture.
I told him I was admiring the historic American Legion building and the silhouette of a soldier displayed on the front and asked if the cemetary was for soldiers. He said mostly. He’d just come to the building to fix a hole in the floor. He said they’d already put in a kitchen and that the community held yard sales to keep it going.
I enjoyed the man’s strong New England accent; but more than that, I enjoyed that he made an effort to stop and chat. It was meaninful to me and I hoped it was for him as well. I felt no impulse to explain myself, expound on Natural Law nor do any more than give him my card and share a human connection.
As I was about to enter a crossroad on US-1, I noticed a car approaching and stopped short. The blonde, middle-aged woman driver waved me across and hollered out her window something I couldn’t quite make out.
I turned and moved toward her open car window, “Ma’am?”
She said with a half-smile, “I would have gone ahead and run you over but I don’t have time for all the paperwork involved.”
This cracked me up and we laughed together as I handed her my card. “This is just so you know who it is you almost ran over,” I said.
She took my card, gave it a glance, and with raised eyebrow said, “Oh, hm, interesting.”
That’s all there was to that interaction; but again, it was meaningful to me as I thoroughly enjoyed her humor and the effort she made to share it with me.
There was another man, well dressed, middle aged, who hollered across the scenic parking lot at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, “Where you walking to?”
”California,” I said without thinking first.
He seemed utterly flabbergasted. After sputtering a bit he smiled, waved and hollered, “I wish you success at whatever it is you’re endeavoring!”
I smiled back, waved and thanked him. I forgot to tell him why I was walking and forgot to give him a card. Still, it was meaninful to me that he was curious enough to ask where I was headed.
These little encouters, these brief human connections, are what make life interesting and enjoyable, however minor they may seem. And they are what this walk is all about.
This is not the sort of walk across America where the goal is not necessarily to arrive from point A to point B. It’s a new lifetyle, for now, where walking allows time and space to meet the ground and the sky, and the people who dwell in between; and through the process, introduce America to Natural Law.