REFLECTION Walk #28, Year 2, April 23, 2016, Earth Day. Along the San Joaquin River.
Walkers started at Koligian Park in northwest Fresno. They commented on the sights of a beautiful, serene river, a train on an overhead track, and a community garden below the tracks. An LDS church group had volunteered to clean up the McCaffery Trail, so people of all ages were busily raking, planting, digging, and beautifying the trail as walkers passed by.
Walkers saw native plants, several yard sales, only one abandoned grocery cart, a lovely park, an elementary school, graffiti by the train tracks, manicured lawns with spectacular flowers, bright orange fish in a fountain, a gorgeous view of the river and mountains to the east from a Walker’s back yard, three-car garages, large and small barking dogs, several cars at some residences, a walking path by the train, signs of human habitation by the river, and a sizable memorial cross under the train tracks. One Walker remembered that a young man had drowned in the river a few years ago. There was also a golf course with golf carts and golfers far up on a hill in the distance from the river and the train tracks.
Walkers heard the sounds of a train, birds, dogs barking, people talking in their yards, the river stream passing by, weed eaters from the clean-up crew, the hum of a small plane, a trickling water fountain, a fishing reel sending a whirring line with hook and worm out to the water–then a splash–and fish jumping near the surface of the river.
Walkers smelled many flowers, jasmine, rosemary, mulch, tilled earth, “natural smells,” and fertilizer.
Walkers felt a sense of peace. They also noted good feelings about a big group of people working together, the friendliness of people they met, and the comfortable nature of the neighborhoods they walked. One Walker told a story of a woman who regularly held yard sales to support a local women’s group.
These are our brothers and sisters in Fresno, and all of our lives and our futures are tied together.