One mile for health.
A mother in East St. Louis, locks her kids in the apartment and plods past a liquor store on the corner, a gas station and McDonalds opposite, and a PayDay loan down the block. She heads for the supermarket nearest her redlined neighborhood, to buy what she can carry.
Five miles for food.
A man, woman, and boy flag down our car. “Will you take us to WalMart?” Ben answers, “There’s none around here.” Mother says, “It's in Liberty.” They climb in. I ask, “Walking? Where do you live?” Mother says, “City Union Mission. We don’t have a car. My sandals broke again and WalMart’s always the cheapest.”
Twelve miles for shoes.
Siblings in Sudan flee from soldiers who killed their parents, burned their village, and kidnapped their brother. The second-oldest boy, now their chief, leads them across a desert. They drink urine and hide from lions, before stumbling into a Kenyan refugee camp.
1,000 miles for safety.
I poke my head into Ben’s office. “I’m going to bed. You?” He’s staring at the computer screen. “Be there in awhile.” “Okay, nighty-night.” I lean over in my jammies, to offer a kiss. He grins at me and closes his laptop. “Changed my mind. I’m coming now.
Zero miles for love.
Read other posts about walking:
How to Make Peace with Nature
Stations of the Cross