Each morning I have started to walk, at least two miles. Trying not to think to much, but just to be aware of my feet touching the earth. It has been a fascinating experience, as the way my feet touch the earth changes. Today the ground was hard and frozen and ice crunched. Yesterday it was warmer and there was the soft slimy slipperiness of wet clay…. Tomorrow?
At any rate earth touch is way of remembering we are not alone but are “connected to the whole stream of spiritual, blood, and land ancestors” (p.163).
I decided yesterday to spend the next five days thinking about each of the five “touchings” on my walk.
Today was number one:
“In gratitude I bow to all generations of ancestors in my blood family”
Today was a day to remember my grandfathers and mothers, my parents, and all of my ancestors.
To think of the way they touched the earth and touched me.
My grandparents died early, and my memories are slight, but I have pictures. Of a very proud grandfather (I was the first Kliewer boy) looking down at my.
I honored this morning his steps as a Mennonite missionary who rode a circuit on the Cheyenne reservation in Montana. He loved the people he served, and they loved him. His feet trod the earth, and made an imprint in that place, to the point that many many years later, when my brother-in-law was an Indian Health Service doctor in Crow Agency, the faces of the old Cheyenne men would light up when they remembered my grandfather.
I remember this day, my strong (very) grandmother, who ran the family, and my more gentle farmer grandparents on my mother’s side, my tiny farmer grandfather and my grandmother and her fried catfish (in SE Nebraska).
I remember my parents, my dynamo 5ft mother, and my gentle giant 6’2” father whose big hands could handle a baby so gently
Today each step was a step of gratitude for these people
Who walked before me on this earth, and I seek to leave an imprint in the same way they left an imprint
of love, and service, and compassion.