“We’re all just walking each other home.”
In the early days of the Children’s Village. many of the kids used to attend a public school in our neighborhood. From time to time, I would take my dog, Sammy, and walk to school to meet them. Then, Sammy and I would walk the kids home. I found that our kids would really prefer walking to getting a ride home in the village van.
I enjoyed it, too. Walking along with the kids, I would be the first to hear their stories.
“Mrs. Holiday is so cool. She told us about the time she almost ran over a cat.”
“Grandpa Hank, I got an ‘A’ on my spelling test.”
“Sean’s my best friend.”
“Mr. Norton made us do push-ups”
There was something comfortable about just walking along with the kids. It felt so normal somehow, like this is the way it’s supposed to be. You could picture it on an old Normal Rockwell painting, the old grandpa and his dog walking the kids home from school.
Well, times change. Most of the village kids have moved on to junior high or high school and have to be driven to school now. But the memory of our walks to school remains in the nostalgia file of my brain.
Coming across the quote from Ram Dass yesterday (“We’re all just walking each other home”) made me think beyond the context of school kids, to our larger life as human beings on our life journeys.
Caught up in our own little worlds, it is easy to forget that all of us are, in a sense, walking each other home. Born into the same world, breathing the same air and belonging to the same human species, “We are,” says Maya Angelou, “more alike than un-alike.”
My child-like fantasy is a larger-than-life Norman Rockwell painting depicting the human race walking hand-in-hand, going home at the end of our journey. We are kids again, holding hands, just walking one another home. We have so much in common, you and I. There’s lots to talk about and share and it’s such a beautiful day.
What’s that you say? “Sure, Hank, and life is like a big, fluffy cone of cotton candy.” Yea, maybe you’re right. But the dream remains and the reality is that we really ARE, all of us, on a journey home. The trouble is we are fighting with each other on the way, spoiling what could be a lovely walk.