way off center!
the actual count turned out to be 113.
a lot of them huffing and puffing as they climbed the 134 steps
(someone counted)
up to the beautiful fulton county courthouse.
the mood on the ferry was so lighthearted and happy.
at last the months of waiting were over.
finally battle had been joined.
the morning was cool
the wind in their faces felt so good.
and everyone had a plan…
at least until the courthouse steps gave them the first punch in the face!
the first of many.
it is quite a sight to see so many runners slowly stringing out along the highway to union city.
before the leaders reach the rock
the gap between first and last will grow to almost 200 miles.
everyone is walking and running into an unknown future.
so many adventures to be had.
so many memories to make.
memories that will last a lifetime.
these are the ones who have heard the call of the open road.
and they have answered.
but they will find the open road to be a fickle mistress.
she will bring them great joy at one turn.
but will exact a high price at another.
a price well worth it
to discover the real america.
one where unexpected angels are there when you need them most.
one where we lift each other up
instead of tearing each other down.
one where strangers reach out a hand
to make impossible goals possible..
i dont know if the bus riders noticed yesterday
but along the course i saw tents already up.
perhaps nothing is more special about the vol state
than the relationship that has developed
between those who run it
and those who live along the course.
the physical support.
the shade
the cold drinks
the food
all the blessings that will be under those tents
or in coolers beside the road
those will be invaluable to the pilgrims seeking the rock.
the physical supplies will nourish their bodies.
the care and concern.
the love that underlies these gifts
those will lift their souls.
for 10 days in july there will be no divisions of race, religion, money, or politics.
just the “walkers”
and the angels whose support they depend on
with one common goal…
to get those “walkers” to the rock.
for 10 days in july
america will show what it can be.
america will be what it really is.

Categories: Vols2022