REFLECTION: Walk 37, Yr 2, from Gaston Middle School in west Fresno. On Saturday, August 20, 2016, at 7 a.m. six mindfulness walkers began at the new Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School at the corner of Church and Martin Luther King Blvd. A look at the City of Fresno boundary map shows this area zigzag between city and county or maybe even unincorporated areas. The paved sidewalks stop and start randomly, turning to dirt with weeds, dead grass, and trash lining well-worn paths.
Observations that walkers described included large fields of crops right in between pockets of flat-roofed homes and older small track homes. Neighborhood churches in between row houses on small streets. Signs of front yard living with furniture, BBQs, seating areas. Walkers were surprised at the full square block of Laotian fairgrounds at Church and Walnut. Walkers appreciated signs of cultural and ethnic diversity such as Indian/Hindu shrines, Laotian objects, cultural artwork, the large Vietnamese Buddhist Temple, Spanish music, hip hop music, and gospel churches.
A majority of the homes, apartments, parks, churches, and schools were enclosed with chain link, rod iron, or wooden fences, security bars on windows and doors, cactus used for fencing with barbed wire. Inside a neighborhood, a large ponding basin included playground equipment. Large barking dogs ran along fence lines kicking up dust. Random start and stop of paved sidewalks would end in dirt paths just yards from schools. Walkers talked about the number of abandoned/boarded up houses and buildings. Walkers saw one or two small markets/liquor stores with check cashing services.
Walkers met a gentleman at the Science of the Soul Study Center on Church Ave near the Hinton Community Center. The church sign seemed to be inserted into a space where a larger sign had previously been. The building was being repaired/remodeled, with large tarps on the roof and a port-a-poty standing by. The man told walkers the church had been here for about a year.
Some walkers hadn’t seen Gaston Middle School and were impressed with the beautiful architecture and well-manicured campus grounds. Walkers talked about the on-campus health clinic as an important service to students and families.
On Jensen next to the DuBois Charter School, walkers observed a broken gate to an abandoned building with a graffiti art painting of the word Lab, and signs of habitation including a make-shift clothes line and bedding.
Walkers were surprised at the extent of the farming operations. On this Saturday morning, a handful of farm workers were harvesting produce from beautifully lush, deep green fields.
On Elm, walkers met Kong at the Buddhist Temple. Kong invited walkers inside to tour the temple of golden statues, incense, and shrines honoring those who have passed. Kong was very friendly and gave walkers nectarines from trees on the temple grounds.
Walkers expressed mixed thoughts about this area at the south west edge of city of Fresno. Walkers were concerned about safety and at the same time uplifted at the cultural diversity and close proximity to agricultural fields and fresh produce.
These are our brothers and sisters in Fresno. All of our lives and future are tied together.
https://www.facebook.com/fresnomindfulnesswalks/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1806121009674645This entry was posted in Uncategorized