August 7, 2012
Westfield to Easthampton
After the Hiroshima Day Ceremony walkers spent the night at Genesis Retreat Center.
In the morning, participants traveled to the home of Sister Marjory and Bob for breakfast and morning prayers.
Joining them was Ruth, a vocalist coach on retreat at the Genesis center, who offered a beautiful rendition of Dona Nobis Pace.
The walk was approximately 12 miles.
Something very noticeable in Westfield and West Springfield were the fighter jets overhead. Shortly after the days walk began there was a deafening noise in the sky. We looked up and for the second time on the walk noticed jets flying overhead doing drills.
Westfield is home to the 104th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard.
After passing the air base the walk passed two farms that were boarding horses.
While passing the second farm the owner came out to say hello.
Les was about to begin putting new shoes on his horse, Chipper.
He took a few minutes to learn a bit about the walk and share some stories about retirement.
About 2 miles passed the horse farm the walk decided to stop for lunch at a gas station.
The people driving support went up ahead and set up a picnic in the parking lot of the Stop’n’Save.
Occasionally people aren’t too happy about sharing their concrete with the walk, but the manager Sajid was friendly and accommodating, letting us use the bathrooms and have water for tea.
After exchanging information the walk continued on the way to the Valley Women’s Martial Arts center (vwma.org) where we met host Janet Aalfs.
Members of the dojo community came out for a potluck and discussion about nuclear power and local alternatives.
The discussion touched on many issues in the nuclear cycle and asked how to change the mindset that put us where we are now.
After an inspiring conversation the walkers moved on to their host’s house for the evening.