Prayers, the police, and the pilgrimage

by Helene Swanson

I have been on a journey for many moons.  Each passing moment brings me closer to God.  But like the waxing and waning of the moon my faith comes and goes.  Yesterday as I walked the beautiful backroads of Virginia enroute to Richmond where I will be staying with new found friends I found myself struggling with praying.  I have always had problems with the Our Father since childhood, why am I praying to a male God I would think, when it is my mother who takes cares of me.  And then their was the part “on earth as it is heaven” was I confirming that our present day to day affairs our manifesting themselves in the same form in the heavens?  So having gone to Roman Catholic private school out comes the Hail Mary’s.  Now I like Hail Mary‘s and Hail Holy Queen and I can say the rosary lickity split for I have always loved pray and rote prayers or chants like my mantra “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”, having been a practicing Buddist really helps take one to the spiritual plane.

Traveling towards Emporia, Virginia along Route 301

Traveling towards Emporia, Virginia along Route 301

But yesterday was not doing it for me.  My thoughts were on my late husband William, everywhere I go I see him, for I spend a lot of time imaging that he is walking with me.  I have pretend conversations about what is going on.  I ask him for his input on what to do next or when I have un- Christian thoughts about folks who are particularly irksome ask for his strength, his patience, his upbeat way of taking everything in stride, and most of all his gratitude for this life.  But yesterday was difficult, I was hot, I was sticky and those pesty scabbies were having their way with me so I hadn’t slept much the night before.

Miraculously a gracious officer came by as I was fumbling with my iphone to make sure that I was on the correct path checked up on me.  He offered me to bottles of Gatorade and was on his way.  I gave him my postcard.  Later that night he called me ask if I need some food and if I was safe.

I posted the picture of the good officer and many responded with likes.  And many responded with stories of wrongdoings. But I can’t tell that I have always had good moments with the law.  I harassed by the local Sausalito police after my husband died.  We run an homeless meal program/outdoor church at it has not been well received by all in the community.  I really had to push buttons to get it going calling in my friends from the ACLU and attorneys I had worked with over the years.  This was their opportunity and they took full advantage.  One day I’ll write about that but I don’t like focusing on the negative.  I like putting my energy towards connecting with the positive so…. Thank you Sheriff Ronnie McCoy Pearce, Jr. for “making my day!”

Officer Ronnie Pearce gives Helene Swanson Gatorade.

Officer Ronnie Pearce gives Helene Swanson Gatorade.

Now again I find myself exhausted.  My heels are achy, the bones on the tops of me feet hurt like heck, itchy as can be, and stinky to boot. The truck stop I camped out in front of as there is nothing out here told me to move on.   It was raining.  Thankfully the rain stopped.  It will be pouring down later and I should be walking but I wanted to share life is full of ups and downs, each more wonderful than next.  I pray for strength as I prep myself for the events in DC were we many will come to demand the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The music playing in the background where I am enjoying a cup of joe inspires my writing.  I am so very thankful for the sun dogs that peak through the clouds.  I am so very thankful for the rain that saves me from showering, I am so very thankful for the time I had with William.

I am so very thankful for the ministry of Katrina’s Dream and the opportunity to demonstrate that everyone counts and every person can be an instrument of change.  One person at a time. One person joined by many in spirit, all joining together for humanity.