On Friday, The Road embarks on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure: a pilgrimage recreating the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, organized by the National Park Service (NPS) in the form of a “walking classroom.” We’ll march 54 miles, hear from NPS Park Rangers about historic markers, share simple meals and prayer, and come away with full hearts.
Last night, the fellows and Laura (Rev. Laura Bryant, priest and program director and compatriot and planner and dreamer) met to ask ourselves some important questions: What is pilgrimage? Why are we marching? We stormed our brains and came up with some ideas:
- A pilgrimage is a journey of healing and restoration in which we walk in the footsteps of martyrs. We will tread holy ground.
- Pilgrimage is a bodily experience. The marchers put their lives on the line on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that Bloody Sunday. Perhaps our bodies need to be involved in the call for justice. Moreover, as walkers, we are a body of many members, united.
- March is a form of speech. It is a responsive political act. “We’re here because there’s so much yet to do. Let’s talk. Let’s listen.”
- Five days of marching in the footsteps of freedom/peace fighters. Five days of walking prayer.
How might we look back and say we’ve had a successful journey? It’s hard to say, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope that we will:
- Leave equipped with more knowledge about the Selma to Montgomery March and its people, such as Lynda Lowery.
- Be inspired to action.
- Connect in a meaningful way with folks from around the country, rallied together in common purpose.
- Carry their stories with us on our own journeys.
The Road will share its story with you, dear reader. Follow us on Instagram (@theroadatlanta) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theroadatlanta) to get visual and verbal snapshots throughout the adventure. But don’t worry. We’ll be back on the blog soon enough.
Last thing. How do you view pilgrimage? Do you have any advice before The Road embarks? Comment below.
Peace and love,
The Road Fellows