Jean Croker Petke

The caravan

The caravan

At a conference I experienced the Great Caravan moving in a circle — many individuals walking separately, at their own pace, in their own thoughts, in their own uniqueness, yet moving with the entire group. As I followed the people before me there was a point where they also became the people behind me. We were a continuum. I didn’t know all of those who were walking before nor the ones who were walking behind. I experienced those walking beside me with new eyes and ears and heart. There were many paths yet we walked together. There is no distinction among us.

Because of that experience, I have one thing I want to share with you.

One day I followed behind you, because I had lost my way. I could not find the path. So I chose to follow you, matching my pace to yours, trying to match my rhythm to yours, trying to discover how you walk. I didn’t know what you were thinking as you walked. I didn’t even know where you were going, but your path seemed more certain than my own. So in silence I walked behind you. We never spoke about that day. You never knew. But my journey is changed because you walked before me and I was able to follow you for a short time. Our paths may never touch again, but the touching on that day changed my walking. I tried on your steps, your rhythm, your breathing, the swinging of your arms, the length of your pace. I will always remember that day.

The dawn is coming. The sun is just beginning to wake up in my tiny corner of the cosmos. Your walking ahead of me caused the waking to begin a bit earlier. It hastened the awakening in my soul, when the night was too dark, and I couldn’t find my way. Tomorrow when the dark returns I will remember following you and I will remember walking in your light. Perhaps the light I sometimes carry falls into the darkness of your night, when you cannot find your way, or when the way is too obscure.

Yes, sometimes you have been the one, walking ahead of me in the caravan, making a path for me to follow. And sometimes you have been the one walking in my footsteps when you couldn’t find your own path. It is all the same. Going before, coming from behind — it is all the same. The only thing we need to know is that we are all part of the caravan — we all walk together. We have always walked together and we will always walk together — for all time . . . and beyond time.

I am grateful for our walking.

Until next Tuesday . . .


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