Sunday, April 25, 2010

From Buffalo to NYC

I want to let Dutchess Peace people know about our participation in the march from Buffalo to NYC. Friday evening I attended the potluck at the UU Congregation in Kingston. The marchers were a very spiritual group, mostly Buddhists from Japan, but many Americans and at least two Europeans, one from France and one from Germany. There was also a Native American who offered prayers in his language. They started with prayers and talked a little about their journey; then we ate a simple meal of grains and vegetables (fortunately I had brought broccoli with noodles). During the meal it was mentioned that a support car was needed Saturday afternoon to transport supplies and people who had trouble walking (there was a 68-year-old Japanese man on crutches, who actually did walk part of the way). I volunteered to drive the support car. The group spent the night at the UU congregation, and I went home.

Karen and I met the group in West Park at about noon today, where they had stopped to have lunch at the home of a friend of the leader, a Buddhist nun who is Japanese but lives in Grafton, NY. Again, prayers -- joyous ones because our hostess is recovering from cancer -- then the meal. After lunch Karen walked with the group and I drove the car, with one young woman who had recently arrived from Japan and had been in an auto accident, and besides was jetlagged and tired. After a couple of miles I stopped the car to see if anyone else wanted to ride, or needed a drink. Karen took over the driving, and the man on crutches got in the car. I walked to rest of the way to Highland, about four miles, and Karl joined us along the way, so there were three Dutchess Peace (and UUFP) members on the walk.

When we arrived in Highland, members of the United Methodist Church on Vineyard Avenue were our hosts, and served a dinner of pizza and salad, along with other vegetables cooked by the marchers. After a delightful dinner, Karen and I drove Karl back to his car, and the French marcher came along so Karl could take him back to a place along the route where he thought he lost his knife. I hope he found it.

There are a lot of details I left out; maybe Karen can fill them in for you. But it was a very moving experience, marching with these deeply spiritual people who played drums and chanted as they walked. There was a lot of horn honking from cars as they passed; I think all, or at least most, were approving. The group also gave peace cranes to all of us, as well as handmade peace buttons. It was a beautiful experience. I hope more of you will join us in New York next Sunday!


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