Long before that windy afternoon this February, when the wind and rain corralled us to the plaza at Spring Hill, certain elements have been prodding me to "walk" another way. To take the World on the road. This may seem, at first glance, to be what we have been doing all along. Many people, through the years, have suggested I use different methods to share my experiences, other than walking on the the road. The difference now. I would, we would, roll the World across a parking lot and into a venue. Not over Continental Divides to incredible vistas. With some preparation, I have been told that I could be rolling into a hall, or onto a stage. Walk less in silence along the highway and talk more in front of an audience about why I walk, what motivates me, how my individual-movement movement has developed. I am being encouraged to write my story, compose a presentation, travel and share what I have experienced over thousands of miles. This thought is taking awhile to "wrap my brain around".
When first people suggested I take on a cause, fifteen years ago, I was playing with my young son and the inflated canvas world in the park; I dismissed the notion. I had no plan to save the World. I was playing, my mission was to have fun with my son. It took a few months for the thought to sink in. Even though I had encouragement for months to walk for a cause, it was only when Bob Hill, a newspaper columnist, first asked me to tell my story (before I even had one) that I pieced together the idea. Bob had known my mother. My mother had been a popular public servant. Bob wanted to know why, I, Gerta's son, was rolling the World around the park. During our conversation I told him many people I had met on the road thought I should walk across the country for something. I said that, to make the interview more interesting. More than just a story of a man and his son, rolling a big ball down a hill. Really, how interesting is trying to bowl-over people with a giant slow motion bowling ball? (The thing with bowling for people on a long hill is: The bowling pins move out of the way.) When Bob asked what I would walk for, if I were to walk for something we had just talked about my mother, how I had grieved for years over my mother dying at an early age from diabetes. The cause had not been suggested during the months of conversations to and from the park. The idea that I had shrugged off for months made a leap in my brain. Me, roll a giant canvas ball to get a message out into the world? I had all the pieces, it just had to come together one piece at a time. When it began, I was playing with my son in our tiny back yard with a six-foot-blow-up-toy that I had saved from the trash. The world was too large for our yard. We rolled it over the fence, we decided the world needed a bigger playground.
It may be the natural progression of things. I embark on a journey, with a goal in mind, and get more than I set out for. My apprehension at the thought is like a wall. I know I could do it, speak in front of people. I have many times, on the road, rolled into auditoriums and by schoolyards to share a simple message I am piecing together, "love yourself-go for a walk".
I left my home with confidence that the road would lead me to what I needed, when I needed it. That was the plan, to walk until I was where I needed to be. Nice (the dog) and I found ourselves here, where we are getting more help than I ever imagined. While Nice (the dog) gets used to the reorientation of his leg bones and learns to walk differently, I will work to walk in another way. One step at a time. Whatever the plan will be.