Connection to this Earth and its Inhabitants

[by Stephen Martin from Henderson, Kentucky, written March 13]

As an aging, white, middle class American I felt the guilt of transgression against our future. Countless generations of humanity could not contemplate our proficiency at excess in this age. There has been minimal effort on my part to live a life sustainably, and responsibly.

When The Great March for Climate Action was suggested by my children, I saw it as personal sacrifice. A way to make an offering, or amends. To walk across the North American continent seemed a method of contrition. But as I walk into the desert landscape of the southwest I have a better view. It is not sacrifice that is in the making here. It is connection. Connection to this earth of ours, and its inhabitants. The hot sun reminds that most of us is water, and it disappears quickly. The fierce wind usually blows against you when you have a place to go, and the biggest hill to climb is often located just before camp. Progress is slow, but with each step my spirit is raised. I pray my body stays with the journey every single step of the way but if it doesn’t I know that together we will make every step in this small community of marchers, which will grow in number as we continue to make footsteps toward our goal of inspiring climate action.

Yesterday we finished our day with a three mile climb along a section of Highway 62. The next morning I walked by a coffee house in the small downtown atop that rise. The waitress came out and asked, “Hey, were you one of those people that walked up the mountain yesterday? I heard about that.” I think that’s how it happens … the spirit of our footsteps gets passed along and before you know it, all are connected to the message.