September 2, 2018, Prescott-
The forty-day journey, whose chronicle I have just completed, is now well-past the reflection stage. The longest trip I have undertaken, since 2015, has passed without controversy, among those of my family and friends who have viewed my travels in the past, with some consternation.
There were mostly good things that happened, this summer that is nearly passed. I want to first note those who have honoured me with their presence, in the deepest of ways. Then, I shall note the learnings I picked up from the trek. Finally, some observations are in order.
The first of these always goes to my family: Being in Christ Church, Philadelphia, for the wedding of my beloved youngest niece; having my son, Aram, and his girlfriend next to me during the service, throughout the reception and for much of Father’s Day. I’m grateful to her, for having given him much happiness; being with all of my siblings, nieces and nephews and nearly all of my extended family.
My northern Nevada family has always been there for me, as well. This year, over Memorial Day weekend, was no different.
My sister in spirit, Corina, drove an hour each way to visit with me a bit-once I got to Wilmette, but to no avail. My arrival was way too late, so back she went, to spend Sunday afternoon with her beloved. I feel honoured, nevertheless. Just being in the embrace of the Baha’i House of Worship is a singular honour, in itself.
Having dinner with friends in Mishawaka, IN, was a sublime blessing. Thanks, Val and Sparky.
I cannot say enough, for the staff and fellow hostelers at Auberge Bishop, Montreal, for confirming my worth as a human being, in the aftermath of a serious loss. I am also grateful to the agents at USAA, for mitigating that loss. It was a joy to take lunch at one of the restaurants of a friend’s establishment: La Panthere Verte. I would feel similarly honoured, again, at hostels in Baltimore and in Memphis.
One of the greatest honours is to connect with the spiritual energy of one’s ancestors. My maternal grandmother’s hometown, Plattsburgh, NY first welcomed me, and a few weeks later, my sister and a maternal cousin connected with some of Grama’s grandnieces and great grandnephews.
Penny’s family will always be my own, as well. They helped me greatly, in the wake of Montreal. A few days’ respite, in the family home, in Spring Hill, FL helped me rest before the home stretch, and reaffirmed our bond. Paying my respects to her departed cousin, a few days before, in Maryland, was essential.
There are many, across the nation and world, who I regard as spiritual family. They are of all Faiths and of no Faith. Connecting with a woman who is like a daughter to me, in Virginia Beach; an immigrant friend who is like a brother, in Salisbury, NC; and my Tennessee brother and sister of the heart, in Crossville, have made all the difference in healing a part of me that still grieves, somehow.
Being in Memphis, and feeling the pain that all of us who are of good heart experienced, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. died, was cathartic. I had not cried in a good long while, and this overwhelming sadness brought out a lot. Later in the day, walking along the banks of the Mississippi and along Beale Street, felt like a dirge was playing. Dr. King honoured us all.