This is Peace Pilgrim. She started walking in 1953, and she walked until she died in 1981 to promote her cause of World peace. That’s twenty eight years of walking.
She walked over 25,000 miles in the US and Canada saying that she would eat when someone gave her food and sleep when offered at bed.
Henry admired her. He revered her actually, so when she walked through our city, this was a major event. Plans were made to meet her, and shake her hand as she passed.
The day arrived. I was about seven years old, and we drove from the desert to the city and posted up on the side of the road in the hot sun to wait for her to come up over the hill. We were going to intercept her.
Twenty minutes passed and she didn’t show. Henry agonized that she may have passed and we’d missed her, but then she came into sight. I don’t think I ever saw my Grandfather so overcome with emotion. She was his Pope.
“There she is! There she is!” he said, excitedly.
I gotta say, she was awesome. She really did look like a vision. She was a moving force and moving swiftly by the way. She wasn’t kidding about walking down the road.
Henry had a water bottle, and I had three bananas. She stopped, nodded at us and said “Good day”. She took the water bottle from him, and drank from it before giving it back. I handed her the bananas and she ripped one off and gave two back. “One is plenty, child. Peace,” she said.
She walked off, at the same fast pace, waving with one hand but not looking back. I watched her walk away kind of stunned and mesmerized, reading the back of her shirt, “10,000 miles for peace”.
Henry said, “She’s a wonderful woman, walking like that.”
We got in the truck and went home.
Here is a quote from an interview with Peace Pilgrim, regarding astrology:
Q: How old are you?
A: Along my pilgrimage route many people would ask my age. I told them I did not know my age and I did not intend to figure it out. I know my birth date. It lingers at the fringes of my memory, but I won’t divulge it. What purpose would it serve? Many have tried also to guess my old name. The most interesting guess was that I’m Amelia Earhart. I’m very thankful that age is now out of my mind. As long as I counted birthdays and started thinking about getting older, I did get older. Age is a state of mind, and I think of myself as ageless. And that’s my advice to others. Get to be as old as you want to be and then stop creating age.
I never give out my zodiac sign either. Do you honestly think I can be pushed around by a planet? Good heavens, your divine nature is always free–it’s only your self-centered nature that is not free. I have two reasons for not giving out my sign. One is that some enterprising astrologer might figure out a horoscope on me, and what a waste of time that would be. And if my birth time were known I would be deluged by birthday cards just as I am deluged with Christmas cards now, and I would have to take another two weeks off each year to answer them.”
Peace Pilgrim was born July 18,1908 with a stellium in Cancer.