A Walk Across Iowa on the Old Lincoln Highway: Day #14
Greetings! And “thank you” to everyone who had anything to do with this adventure. So many people in so many ways were a part of preparation, support, encouragement, etc. “No person is an island”… right? “Every person is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” wrote the English poet John Donne in 1624. Even after years of being taught that the American way is one of “rugged individualism”, do any of us really believe that we are that self-sufficient… in no need of another? Someone helped to make my walking shoes, fix me a breakfast sandwich, and bottle my water… but now I have a new appreciation for just what it takes to make an endeavor like mine over the past two weeks a success. All I can say is “thank you!”
I appreciated all of the replies to my blog entries, texts, emails, voice mails, etc. Please know that I felt that I was not be able to reply to the replies on the blog—to keep up with them… and other ways that people reached out to me may have also not had a response. Just know of my appreciation… and I hope to connect with folks in the coming days as part of “unpacking” this experience!
Today after walking the last 10.5 miles this morning, my wife Karla, brother Hal, and his wife Beckie took a number of pictures at the Missouri River bridge and the sign that says END right above the sign that says LH Heritage Byway. It was an enjoyable experience to share it with these three special people in my life!
I truly believe that if we all live with intention, then growth, development, transformation, etc. happen within our lives. I have told some of my clients that, after an hour session together—if we were intentional about our time, then we would both leave my office changed in some way. That’s what we do—we affect each other’s lives… let’s make the effect a redemptive experience to empower us all to live more consistently with the values we hold close in our hearts.
When I arrived home this evening with my wonderfully supportive wife Karla, I began to reflect on how this experience has impacted my life. Just as I attempted to pay attention with intention on the Walk, the journey is not over. I have more intentional reflecting and learning to do. There is still much to glean from this wonderful opportunity I had…. so more to come. Just as T.S. Eliot wrote:
“And the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started…
And know the place for the first time.”
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Did you know that there is a wonderful Village Welcome Center dedicated to pioneer history of the area, the LH, the Loess (for those of you who wonder how to pronounce this, it rhymes with “bus”) Hills, etc.? Just about two miles northwest of Missouri Valley on the LH, it is a great stop in so many ways. I treated myself to a new hat with the LH design on our way home today. Kathy Dirks, the center’s coordinator, took my picture next to a LH marker that still stands upright in its original place… she was going to do something with it, but I can’t remember what!
Today, after the completion of the Walk, I met a waitress at a restaurant in Missouri Valley who wondered why the four of us all had on orange t-shirts with the LH design on the front. After briefly telling the story, she decided to inform others (regulars, I am assuming) of my journey. Today, I learned to start putting matters into perspective—that I did not accomplish this Walk alone… and togetherness and gratitude need to remain central in my upcoming conversations.
Today I am grateful for my loving brother Hal Minear. It is a major understatement to say that I could not have accomplished this challenge without his support. I may have walked every step of the way on my own… but, without his practical, logistical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual support, I don’t think that this would have been a success. So… I don’t really know how to express the depth of my gratitude and love to my brother for helping to make my bucket wish dream a reality… so… I gently, humbly, mindfully, and graciously says “thank you, big brother” as you have always had an amazing way of looking out for your younger brother across the years. The gift of my “gratitude marble” was deeply heartfelt!
P.S. Moments after I finished this morning, I received a call from the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center to inform me that $11,555.05 has been given to the Counseling Assistance Fund thus far… perhaps a few more donations will still come in… I hope so! The fund will always be there with the need. My humble thanks to all of you who contributed to strengthen our abilities to serve the uninsured and underinsured.
P.S.S. I think that I will likely have one more blog entry… perhaps in a week or so. It may be interesting to others what develops out of further processing and reflection… and it would be great to write an entry without the pressure of time amidst my diminished mental acuity due to fatigue!
For more information and more posts, please see Mark’s homepage: dmpcc.org/WalkwithMark.
Everyone is invited to “Walk with Mark” by helping him reach his goal to support quality mental health services for boys and men. Supporting his 331-mile trek is easy as 1-2-3:
- Walk with Mark via his blog on the Center’s website or Facebook page.
- Walk with Mark by joining him for part of his itinerary.
- Walk with Mark with a donation to the Center for the counseling assistance fund.