Not often people take the time to observe their surroundings. Through this walk I allowed myself to break away from the hustle of life. Allow yourself to experience nothing and everything!!!! First time FMWalker, Ryan.
Walk 13, yr 3 was on May 6, 2017. Seven Fresno Mindfulness Walkers began at the new Vallarta at Clinton and 99, in the shadow of high speed rail construction.
Walkers strolled busy intersections and then quiet neighborhood streets north to Dakota. Walkers toured Dakota EcoGarden near Dakota and Fruit, meeting Beverly and Nancy Waidtlow, and seeing the effort of community members to provide housing for people who had been homeless – helping them get back on their feet. EcoGarden is a ‘village’ of tents and individual self-contained living units designed by local architect Art Dyson. Dyson is currently constructing another prototype which walkers toured.
After the 4 mile walk, FMWalkers gathered in the Vallarta parking lot to share their observations.
Sights: people who are homeless. Some places with lots of trash and others places well-kept, existing side by side. Extraordinary roses and flowers. A new walker from Texas described this as culture shock. Walkers described the alley we walked as ‘dog alley’, with big loud dogs jumping up against the fence, yard after yard. Large dirt pile of construction that will be high speed rail. Walkers were amazed and surprised at Eco-Garden Village, the home and large yard with tents for people to live. Walkers met Beverly who greeted us and led the tour. Then walkers met Nancy Waidtlow, the animated and energetic woman who opened this home to people needing a place to live. Nancy shared her passionate vision to end homelessness in Fresno. Walker Ryan Murry, with In Touch Valley Talk podcast, interviewed Nancy and recorded her story.
Sounds: trains, birds, roosters, mowers, blowers, barking, speeding cars, wind chimes, flags flapping, music from cars, hammering.
Smells: barbeque, flowers, citrus, jasmine, honeysuckle, breakfast cooking.
Walkers talked about memories growing up in these neighborhoods, attending Homan Elementary, attending school carnivals at Our Lady of Victory catholic school. Walkers remember when the property that is now Vallarta was a bowling alley. Walkers admitted to driving by much of Fresno fast, without noticing so many beautiful details. Walkers described wanting to ‘press pause’. Walkers talked about finding joy in seemingly mundane objects, and even crossing the street to see a flower up close.
A walker found a book on the ground that had been disgarded and said no book should be thrown away – every book has a lesson and a message. The book – Dale Carnegie’s, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. The title aptly captured the mindset of Fresno Mindfulness Walkers. 🙂
“It seemed as if we disrupted the reality of the moment. Not often people take the time to observe their surroundings. Through this walk I allowed myself the break away from the hustle of life. Lori has a great free meditation practice here. Allow yourself to experience nothing and everything!!!! Ryan
“Meeting interesting people for the first time at Dakota EcoGarden.” Ryan
” I had a wonderful time Saturday! Such a welcoming and awesome experience!! I look forward to the many Saturdays to come!” Tasha
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