A Walk Across Iowa on the Old Lincoln Highway: Day #8
by Mark Minear
Greetings! It is a joy to experience the goodwill of people… spontaneous acts of kindness. Several events have touched me… the simplicity of thoughtfulness. An older couple pulled their car alongside of me and gave me a one dollar bill for the Counseling Assistance Fund (they had seen my picture in the paper); Jennifer of the Greene County Fairgrounds donated two free nights to park my brother’s RV as a gesture of support for my effort; a man in a rural home on a gravel road portion of the LH wanted to know where I was going and, after I told him, offered water to take; people will take pictures when asked; and many readily provide words of support and encouragement along the way. How important the small gestures are in our lives!
It makes me want to be more intentional about extending the small gesture as I am able… a kind word, opening a door for someone, a smile or greeting to a stranger, a response of gratitude, etc… perhaps even offering a bottle of water to someone who might need it. It is the little stuff, isn’t it?… not just the big deals. If we could live our lives with greater simplicity, we might even see ourselves experiencing less stress day by day. Priorities clarified. People served and loved. Gratitude expressed. The world slightly a better place.
Did you know that the Lincoln Highway wrapped halfway around the Iowa State University campus… on the south and on the west? I had the good fortune of being able to have my lunch with my good friend, Dr. John Wong, who teaches in the Marketing Department of the Business College. We had some quiet moments in his office to talk about gratitude (a familiar conversation with us) among other things and look out upon and listen to the campanile in the center of the campus; he introduced me to some people with whom he works, and then he walked with my son-in-law Ryan and me from ISU out to the Boundary Road where Story County meets Boone County.
Today I met my family—wife, children and their spouses, and three grandchildren (plus both my daughter and daughter-in-law are expecting—Emily in June and Hilliary in October) for supper at Hickory Park in Ames. They were all wearing Team Mark t-shirts with the “L” symbol of the Lincoln Highway on the front… and, on the back, the quotation by T.S. Eliot that has gone along with this experience:
“And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Today I learned that I am finding myself not just physically tired at the end of the day but also cognitively or mentally fatigued… something that I did not expect to this degree.
Today I am grateful for my son-in-law Ryan Osweiler who walked approximately 13-14 miles with me from Iowa State University to Boone… with the last three while we were walking in the rain. He was of great encouragement… and worthy of today’s marble of gratitude!
For more information and more posts, please see Mark’s homepage: dmpcc.org/WalkwithMark
Everyone is invited to “Walk with Mark” by helping him reach his goal to support quality mental health services for boys and men. Supporting his 331-mile trek is easy as 1-2-3:
- Walk with Mark via his blog on the Center’s website or Facebook page.
- Walk with Mark by joining him for part of his itinerary.
- Walk with Mark with a donation to the Center for the counseling assistance fund.