Note on this special walk: Mindfulness walkers gathered in front of the home of John Auer near Einstein Park in central Fresno. John inspired one of the original ideas that launched Fresno Mindfulness Walks in 2014, which I (Lori) refer to as “the prayer of John Auer”. The words were printed on the original Fresno Mindfulness Walks bookmarks. People from all over Fresno have read and signed their bookmark, and some even have it displayed on their refrigerators, computers, or bulletin boards. While John is no longer able to walk, he follows FMW online, regularly offers encouragement to walkers, and he was able to participate in this pre-walk gathering and post-walk conversation.
Walkers who gathered: Tim, Carol, Jim, Linda, Wendy, Kathryn, Judy, Beth, Lori, and…. welcome to new walkers Denise and Kimberly!
Friends who stayed and gathered with John: Jane, Jaime, Marshall, and Lou.
Beth read John’s prayer, which sent walkers forth on our walk through Fresno. Mindfulness walkers strolled about 4 miles of neighborhoods, Einstein Park, canal paths, busy streets, and across the campus of Birney Elementary. Then walkers returned to John’s house and circled up to shared observations.
Sights: Deep flowing water, father with his children playing at Einstein park, Birney Elementary volunteers (Trevor with Every Neighbrhood Partnership) and kids playing, farmer pruning his lush garden, homeless person sleeping in pink hammock, neglected park, people on porches, people watering, smiling faces, re-purposed buildings, open gates, arching/rushing water in canal, churches, telephone poles and electrical lines, graffiti, landscapers, dogs, history, areas with no fences, pride in homes, variety of residential options of apartments, duplexes, mobile homes, residential care centers, razor wire, grocery carts out of place, moss covering grocery cart submerged in canal, people walking and on bicycles, people waiting at FAX bus stop.
Sounds: rushing water, doves, loud music from little car, people working, a blessing offered from a homeless camper, FAX buses, children, traffic, small plane in the distance
Smells: Sam’s Deli, cooking with garlic, olives, dirt, incense, green loamy from canal.
Feelings: hopeful, curious, sad, peaceful, nice, memories, remembering friends who live or who lived here, felt the changes of time, remembering Valley Children’s Hospital when it was here, feelings of thankfulness, feelings of warmth and acceptance, thinking about John who is going through changes.
Walk 21, Yr 3 began and ended with a reciting of “the prayer of John Auer.” “I accept the whole San Joaquin Valley—its people, its structures, its joys, its sorrows—as my responsibility. Receive the offering of my work, thoughts, resources, and relationships, that I may promote peace and humanness among all persons and within all structures.”
You can see pictures of John, mindfulness walkers, and many of the sights from this walk at:
Google photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/i8oaDPzffjzEKWp73Uncategorized