Saturday morning, March 4, 2017, 19 Fresno mindfulness walkers met in the neighborhood at Bluff and Churchill and strolled down the footpath into the vast expanse leading to the San Joaquin River’s edge. For almost 4 miles, walkers strolled dirt paths, mowed grass paths, and tire tracks to witness wildlife, wide variety of foliage, distant horizons, cloud speckled sky, ponding basins, people fishing, the flowing San Joaquin River, and fast moving highway 41 traffic. All of this is in the center of Fresno, just 2 miles from the RiverPark shopping center.
Walkers saw recent plantings near the riverbed, staked and irrigated. Walkers described feeling connected to mother nature and that time stopped by the river – that the granite boulders were a connection to the past. Walkers witnessed people enjoying the outdoors – people and nature together. Walker described the symbolism of first taking the higher road vs. lower road next to the river. Just a few yards apart, this changed the view and perspective.
Walkers described the large contrasts between this area in the drought of last summer and how it looks now with a full and flowing river.
Walkers noticed the details of a crane flying low to the water casting its mirror image reflection across the surface.
Walkers were thankful to hear and see the ‘real news’ of the water we read about. A walker described the cumulative information she has learned from mindfully walking Fresno – a source of ‘real news’, allowing her to see all of Fresno for herself.
Walkers enjoyed walking under Hwy 41 instead of just speeding over it in a car. It’s a completely different perspective and the walker will now carry of the memory of river, boulders, and cement supports that are under the highway.
Walkers appreciated that we could walk along river even though some of this may be private property. Gates were open or paths were accessible.
Walkers noticed a fire pit by the river, empty alcohol bottles – and commented that a fast moving river and alcohol is a dangerous combination. Overall, walkers saw very little trash – which they described as signs that people respect the area.
Walkers smelled orange blossoms. Walkers described relaxation from watching and listening to the birds, flying against the blue sky above us, and the V-pattern of ripples in the water.
Walkers met Elias, who was visiting from Arcada, and his mother who were bird watching. Elias showed us a photo on his camera of the Vermilion Flycatcher and said we should look to see more.
Walkers returned up the steep slope to Bluff and walked through the neighborhood, seeing large homes with beautifully manicured yards.
“What a beautiful day to get out of the house and join a group of walkers. The San Joaquin River is flowing with a strong underlying current. It’s wonderful seeing an area that is respected by people. Very little trash — what you bring in, you take out as you leave.” Tami
” A beautiful walk along the San Joaquin river! I’m so grateful for these walks! We see for ourselves what is REAL about Fresno instead of just believe what we hear in the media or through gossip about our town. ❤ #getcurious #getoutthere #seeforyourself ” Wendy
Every walk is a chance to see more of Fresno and to increase our understanding of places and people we might not otherwise know. These are all our brothers and sisters in Fresno, and all of our lives and futures are tied together.
Facebook photo album: https://www.facebook.com/pg/fresnomindfulnesswalks/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1917415775211834
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