So last week my younger sister embarked on a huge journey that I am impressed by and so very proud of her for doing. She has decided to walk across the country from Oregon to the gulf coast. This decision was inspired by the massive BP gulf oil spill. She became increasingly frustrated and fed up as most all of us were watching this tragedy happen and feeling like nothing could be done to stop it.
We all felt the overwhelming feeling of helplessness at the situation. How could we stop it? How could we do anything when we had no idea what the truth of the situation actually was. People banned from reporting and taking pictures of the scene, a no fly zone over the spill area, armed security along the coast threatening to arrest anyone who got near, various news sources all telling us different stories. Many of us saw the actual devastating images of the destruction and loss of wildlife that many media sourced were trying to hide or refused to publicize. Yet mainstream corporate news stations continued to tell the world that the damage was minimal. All of this started stirring questions and solutions in everyones mind as to how our cultural lifestyles were dependent therefore contributing if not at fault for this environmental tragedy….. At this moment I recognize that I write all of this in past tense as if the affects and devastation are not still occurring this very moment, yet they are and will be for some time unimaginable. Sadly even I as revealed in these words seem to have somehow put the incident in the back of my mind. Since the reports went out that the leak was capped and clean up had been showing successful outcomes, the rest of the world put it in the back of their mind as well if not completely out of mind and back to business as usual. When in actuality BP just made all of the oil sink to the ocean floor with insane amounts of highly toxic chemicals where it is out of sight and yes, out of the forefront or our mind. Swept under the rug, still killing, still destroying, but at least we don’t have to see it or hear about it everyday right?
Well my little sister refused to go back to the ‘Game On!’ mentality. While many spoke of how we should really do something, change our lifestyle and reduce our dependancy on oil then casually went back to the same ol’ routine this young lady did not. Her name is Angela. She along with her trusted friend Graham decided to quit their jobs, sell and give away all of their belongings, let their homes go and walk themselves, by foot alone from Ashland, Oregon to get as close to the oil spill site as they could. They want to see for themselves what the land looks, smells and feels like instead of relying on all the hear say. This walk is also what many native americans and other earth conscious cultures might call a vision quest. To cleanse and heal their hearts, clear their minds and find out what is truly important in life and maybe resolve to a way of life that is not contributary to the destruction of our natural environment. They also want to inspire others on this journey which for myself they have already done so. Few people these days would be so brave as to abandon all the comforts petroleum brings to their lives and walk across this country in search of a better way for the sake of doing so.
So while only a couple weeks since the oil spill has been capped and most of the rest of the world has already stopped paying attention, these two young adults are walking and will be walking for many more weeks turning into months. When most of the rest of us will be saying “what oil spill?” they will be arriving at their destination forever changed in their body, heart, mind and soul. How their journey will go and what they will find once they get there we have yet to know.
Many may refuse to do such a grand gesture, many others simply cannot for one reason or another and this is ok. We are all on our own path. This just happens to be theirs. So if we can’t or don’t wish to join them on foot we can at least support them, which leads me to share with you how you can follow and support them on their journey if you are so inclined. They have a website, blog and facebook group you can view to track their progress. They have even set up check points along the way where those who are inspired to support them can send care packages of the items they have on their with wish list. They are not carrying much so shipping addresses have been set up which are posted on their website where they can pick up such things as food & survival gear.
Wa(l)king4Unity website & blog:
The Next Step: Walking America facebook group:
I hope their story helps you see that we don’t have to be a slave to the energy consumption status quo or our current culture. We always even still today have a choice in how and to what we contribute to our world.