What a heartfelt gathering in St. Augustine Florida to participate in a memorial Walk for Tibet to honor the late Jigme Norbu & his message of World Peace, Human Rights & Compassion, Tibetan Freedom and Freedom for all Oppressed Peoples.
Despite not knowing each other one year ago, this Band of Brother/Sisterhood is bonded in the spirit of love, peace, cooperation and creative leadership. Wangchuk Dorjee flew in from Colorado and Miesa Myrick flew in from Wash DC as they did last year. Local hosts Jim Sheils & Jamie, Brian & Coco Scrone with newest member baby Zion, Barbara Ottaviani-Jones, & Jamie Richardson & Ted were generous as ever. Susan Brown & Jamie DeFrates sang to our heartstrings, and paid tribute to Jigme with what has become his signature song, Winterhawk. Deacon Dan & Peggy Scrone added their wisdom and faith to the events. I drove 5 hours north to be together. And we had support from afar from many, including Tina Rongers, who provided the Native American ritual items and Internationsl Freedom poen used in the morning service. And, of course, Jigme’s family was supporting from behind the scenes.
In Palm Coast, Damian and Gary Collins put together a dedicated group of Walkers including children waving the Free Tibet signs. They also put up a rain tent in case of the expected downpour, but blue skies prevailed instead. Geishe Lama Thubten Tuk kindly came from Orlando to officiate, as he had quietly done previously on auspicious occasions.
We welcomed previous walkers and new participants, in the morning pier service- so poignant to those of us there with Jigme last year. Then we walked about 1.5 miles along the Intracoastal Walterway in St. Augustine, pausing to host Buddhist and Christian and universal prayers in front of the St Francis of Assisi shrine. How appropriate!
Later in the afternoon we traveled the 28 miles to where Jigme took his final steps on earth on his Walk for Tibet. There, about 30 people gathered to hold more prayers, welcomed by local host Damian Collins, an update by Wangchuk Dorjee on the dire situation in Tibet with 22 deaths by immolation in recent months, a request by Miesa Myrick to keep getting the word out, and I read from a Letter from Children to Adults to being living more in peace and kindness in their own lives in order to show a better way than war for the children, our future.
We walked another mile to the Hammock Wine & Cheese Shoppe where the Collins’ hosted refreshments for body and soul.
In between, we who have become ‘old friends’ gathered several times for shared meals, memories and discussions on making the world a better place each in our own unique ways. Very beautiful & poignant, but full of laughter and love too. Soul fulfilling, just as Jigme would have it.
More photos to follow.
February 18, 2012