The Long Walk
It’s been so long, so long since that day now so distant; when the heavens light turned black and thunder rolled. A day so many cheered, so many cried, I remember well the day, a day of truth and sadness for my mother, she knew it was meant to be. But this is today.
I came back to see this place, this land. I have seen so many on this road, people seem not to see me, they said once, you can’t ever again go home; is there such a truth as that. Has it been so long, should I have returned sooner, the people I knew, would they still know me by my face; if not by my name. With every step, I fear not, the love I gave, the strength I encouraged, the life I shared and believed in; was it truly for not, the fear saddens me.
I saw a man, tattered rags, his belongings in a cart, his name is Donald, he is a father of two girls; they have no time or concern for him, they have no need for understanding or forgiveness in what they don’t know. I talked to him, there was no fear in his eyes, he wanted to go home he told me, but he didn’t know how to get through the barriers and walls. Just go I told him, you will not be alone, but do so with Love.
A thousand miles back, Donald went home, his daughters open arms wrapped around him, his tears twinkling in the evening sun. But on this day, it’s a doctor I see, she lost a patient to cancer, a little boy. She spent her years learning the science of medicine, her goal was to help people, but she became cold of heart, her knowledge of life dwindled in her gain.
I saw that Sarah was sad, her tears caught in the napkin ruffled in her trembling hands. I ask if I could help, she smiled sweetly, telling me about the little boys death, how she couldn’t save him, remorseful about the life he would not see. I said, in your once coldness of life, the child was there to teach you how to live with your heart, he is in a good place now and he knows you did your best for him. When was the last time you cried Sarah? She told me it’s been years since she had shed a tear. I told her the tears are tears for life, not death, that is what the little boy had taught her.
I have walked these streets, the long lonesome highway, the stories like a river flows, of sadness and death, but little of the celebration of life. Why is this, have they forgotten the stripes, what is any day worth when life is not held higher than needless death; wasn’t one day enough to learn from, why should there be a need for more such days.
It is dark, I have bread, I have water, it is here where I must rest. My rest has turned to sleep, dreams of home, my mother, my father, my path. The sun I think, brightly shining, the voice says, come on, we have a bed in the jail for you, get in the car. They push me into the backseat after looking at my arms, my eyes, they search me and my few belongings.
At the station they through me into an enclosed cubicle and told me to be quiet, so I did, holding forgiveness rather than contempt for the overzealous officers; they have been taught to be who they are, they know not what they have become. Soon the darkness faded, morning had come, a new day had began. The officer gave me my belongings, some food, then took me to the edge of town, telling me to be on my way.
They dropped me off by a hillside, next to the highway that leads to the mountains in the distance. A road sign warning people to slow down, someone had written upon the sign, and listen for it might be God. I looked a ways down the road, a billboard, in big bold letters on a blood red sign that stated that God was dead.
The answer to the going home question, we can but it’s never the same, but the signs summoned my thoughts, while no one new me, I now understood why; it’s the teaching of man, the same as so long ago when my mother’s tears fell to the sobbing stones beneath my feet. How I felt on that day is of no importance to me, it was my gift for humanity; a gift that only humanity could take for granted, ignore, or forget. Father, I ask once again, please forgive the masses, they know not what they do.