Thursday, June 28, 2007

Powered by Peace, Sponsored by Belief

“The Good Long Road.” It was my brother Kyle that came up with this title for the blog. For the last week I’ve been asking myself, “What exactly is the Good Long Road?”

For our purposes, it is the 50k (31.3-mile) Redwoods Basin Trail Run I’ll make in September. It rises to over 6000 feet in the beautiful California Redwoods. The journey marks my 30th birthday—taking stock, conquering new challenges, and celebrating with friends, family, and fellow runners in the process.

My training is a means of taking care of myself. In taking care of myself, I find I have more energy to care for others.

I run because I believe that peace exists even in the Middle East, where war has waged for "thousands of years."

I seek the peace for myself that I see in the world, believing that there is a nonviolent resolution for every conflict.

I believe this because I see it in my work every day as a peacemaker. I see it in the town of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the "Oasis of Peace" where Israelis and Palestinians live, work and raising their children together.

I see it through the conviction of Craig and Cindy Corrie who helped rebuild the home their daughter, Rachel, gave her life to defend in a land far from home. Rachel's work continues now through the Rebuilding Alliance.

I see it through the resourcefulness of small nonprofits/non-governmental organizations--delivering on promises through their will and determination, on small budgets and slim resources.

Many, even those who seek to inspire us, would have us believe that peace is a destination to be reached, at the other end of a “road less traveled.” For me, that’s not true. Yes, the journey may sometimes seem lonelier or more difficult than I imagined. But then I realize that this is only because I have been looking over my shoulder, or at my feet.

When I raise my head - to answer the call, to ask for help, to remember who I am and what I do — I find I have always come to an amazing place. Surrounded by good people, I come to a new understanding. Every arrival is an intersection. I am grateful that there is always more to do.

So to my friends, family, and fellow runners--
May we all raise our eyes together and recognize the journey we share. Peace is the path, not the destination. The road need never end. Join me along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, you live life with passion, curiosity and conviction. How you manage to generate such good energy in so many different spheres of endeavour is a marvel to me. You are an inspiration!

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about this particular part of your journey. I ran a marathon a few years ago and, given that my starting point was struggling to run for the bus, it was quite a life-changing experience. I know you will also find this a very enriching experience. Top tips from me.....get some good running shoes and remember the Chinese saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. What got me through the difficult times was learning to concentrate on the particular part of the run I was tackling there and then and not focusing on the miles still ahead of me. Somehow, those miles always take care of themselves but if you let them weigh on you, the burden can seem too heavy.