Sunshine under blue canopies
It was beautiful. Over 30 volunteers all huddled under blue canopies. The rain pounding all around them, and yet their faces all glowed, like happiness, like sunshine.
They had all spent the last 4 months preparing for this moment. Pouring as much time, energy and love into the Walk for Hope as was humanly possible. They made phone calls, sent emails, made quotes, cooked food, meditated, processed payments, designed t-shirts, drew maps and planned activities. They did this during weekends, after work, during lunch hours and yes sometimes even during work. Today, they woke up at 4 in the morning, only to be greeted with natureâ€™s decision to replenish the earth instead. Yet, there were only smiles to be seen. No-one looked disappointed that their hard work would have gone to waste. Instead, they took the rain as an opportunity to laugh, to dance and to be young again. Whether the walk went on or not, they seemed determined to put the best part of themselves into the day.
But of course, the walk would go on. A little rain (ahem… a lot of rain) wasn’t about to stop them. So they got ready to venture out into the soaking earth, they joked that they were about to prepare for the first ever “Swim for Hope”.
Just then, a ray of hope peeked from the horizon as the clouds began to peel away from the blue sky. Grown-ups became toddlers again. Jumping, skipping and dancing through the rain, they started to set up.
Hours floated by, the quotes got put up, the activity stations came together, the flooded streets and pathways got pumped out, and people started to arrive.
We’re not sure how the rest happened, it all feels like a blur. Somehow, everyone got a t-shirt, a quote book, everyone walked the route, they participated in the activities, read the hand-made quotes and ultimately found their way back to the beginning for a meal that was prepared at a Temple the night before. As soon as the last band was winding down their set, natures reprieve also drew to a close, the rain started to pound again. Itâ€™s amazing, that the rain was gone just long enough for us to put the Walk for Hope on. We’re not sure why it happened that way, we will probably never know nature’s grand plan, but I do have a hypothesis:
At this year’s walk, we had some extremely special folks visit us. We had Nipun and the Charity Focus Posse visit from the Bay Area. Maushmi flew in from Houston and Divya and Mikund came in from Vegas. What’s more is that our friends from Manav Sadhna all the way in Ahmedabad, India decided to dedicate a Walk for Hope in our honor that very morning. The also woke up at 4am in the morning and walked all the way to the airport to send and receive 90 of their kids on an airplane ride of their lives. This would be the first time the kids would step on a plane and was an amazing gift to these kids who typically don’t see any kind of modern day comforts in the slum dwellings where they live. Jayeshbhai himself called from India on the day of the walk to let us know of these plans. With these kinds of well wishes coming in from all corners of the globe, maybe even nature had to pause to take it all in. Maybe even the clouds were inspired that day.
We are grateful, to nature, for giving us the opportunity to exist, to play, to give and to love, in moments of rain and in moments of sunshine.
We are grateful to nature, for giving us friends that define what the word Love means.