Gainesville, FL: Today, by far has been one of the most exhausting days we’ve had during the trail. We walked our record best 22.6 miles on a windy sun piercing day. It was a rather lonely day; but I am sure it is going to be in my most cherished memories. Today I was able to concentrate on site seeing the beautiful terrain and I felt truly centered – at one with nature. Before the trail, I looked forward to these days, when I’d be able to practice walking meditation, observing the sky to my left and right, see the sun and moon competing for stares and feel the resistance against the invisible cold wind. Days like this would allow me to forget that being undocumented is an existential state of being and would allow me to view our human race holistically and recognize our own insignificance within our universe.
As walkers, our minds truly become expanded with these lonely days, with the fear of being undocumented dispersing as if it were only a gust in the wind. Feeling as if the pathway towards liberation from systemic oppression reaches fulfillment only through the physical pain absorbed in the body. Our will to walk and our will to strain ourselves with mental and physical ailments in the name of justice and liberation of imposed fear can’t be taken away. In the words of the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King, “Courage faces fear and thereby masters it”.
Felipe M., reminded us how we are merely “soldiers on the ground” and I began reflecting on that. We feel the pulse of underprivileged, undocumented people living in the shadows, the millions that feel hopeless in the despair of social, economical, and political contexts. Hence, let us not drown in the pretentious political realm or get lost in their rhetoric, instead, let’s focus our energies in adhering to the necessities of our communities and tap into the reservoirs of our lost voices.