I woke this morning to more snow and ice on my tent. The temperature last night was in the low 20’s and once again I was thankful for the shelter of my tent and the warmth of my sleeping bag. After packing up my backpack and eating breakfast at the Chestnut House, I hit the road. I began my walk with the sting of snow blowing in my face. This continued for about 2 hours. As I looked down at the roadside, I could barely see a hint of the bright yellow dandelions that I had saw yesterday morning. Yet I knew they were there with all of their resilience just waiting for the snow to melt and the warmth of the sun to enliven them once again. I know that many people consider the dandelion to be a nuisance and a weed within their manicured lawns, but what I see is beauty, happiness, resilience, and the hidden healthful benefits of the flower, leaves, and roots. Part of our journey of building a culture of hope involves valuing the whole person not just the parts that we deem acceptable through our eyes. We must challenge ourselves to see the beauty and intrinsic value in each person and in each community.
About half way through the walk on Milner Street, a woman pulled up car up and rolled down the window. She asked if I was the “walking woman?” I responded by saying “yes, I’m walking around Licking County.” She told me she lived in Buckeye Lake and that she was delivering the advocate newspaper. She handed me a donation and encouraged me on my way. I hope I see her in a few days when I walk down to Buckeye Lake.
After a 6 mile walk, I finally reached the Bryn Du Mansion in Granville where I met up with the United Way board president John Klauder and his lifelong friend Kevin Bennett who is a Granville trustee. Both John and Kevin grew up in Granville and had a lot of history and stories to share about their hometown and growing up there. We enjoyed a nice walk down the main road through town on our way to meet up with Sharon Phelps and Marjorie Wilson at the Thrivent office. There, I received a warm welcome with signs, a mid morning snack, and cup of coffee. Sharon Phelps is a Thrivent representative and Marjorie Wilson is a long time volunteer with United Way. After leaving the Thrivent office, we had a short walk to enjoy a lunch at Day y Noche Mexican Restaurant. The food was great! Following lunch, we had a quick stop at the Granville Library to catch up on my blogging and to take a quick picture with one of the Librarians. After leaving the Library, I continued my walk to Granville High School. Along the way, we passed by the home of Wendy Hollinger, another United Way board member who walked with me to the High School. Wendy graciously put together our 50 day journal that we having been passing out to encourage others to follow this journey. Once I arrived at Granville High School, I enjoyed a nice dinner with many of the students involved with service clubs. After dinner, we had a long discussion together about the many issues United Way is hoping to address in our county. I really appreciated the many questions and insights the students had and it made me feel very hopeful about the future of humanity.
After dinner we, headed to the gym. The weather was too cold for the Superintendent to allow the students to sleep out, so we bunked down on the gym floor. It was nice to be in a warm building for the night. My third day was completed and about 7 and ½ miles hiked.