I listened to a song of the civil rights era with the verse “Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.” It spoke to me of this march of mine and so I wiki’d it to see who I might attribute it to. Turns out the roots of the verse are from a gospel song that has no known author. Originally the verse was “keep your hands on that plow, hold on.” This fits. It speaks clearly of the repetitive aspect of committing to our convictions. I sense it is no different today than it would have been a hundred years ago. A connected, purposeful life takes plowing ahead with straight and tiresome rows. We can’t relinquish control of the plow, and must be mindful and engaged or our rows will wander and the plow will rise and fall in this earth of ours.
As I walk Ohio’s roads, I have seen layers of human effort resting upon the land. Houses and barns constructed by hand, Factories and grand public buildings built when block and tackle raised heavy granite stones into place without aid of a combustion engine. Within the lifetime of these edifices something changed. On my journey across the country I sometimes walk for hours, even days to free myself of the sprawl which is intensifying as I continue east. It is our pattern to allow growth to expand while the core decays. Our lives unfortunately seem driven to consume more and more without much concern for the costs. These times will pass. They have to, and we will find sustainability to be the answer. I Look past the delusions of this world, and turn inward to consider the life I live. What matters? What is important? It is no longer realistic to preach consume and prosper to a world in such a precarious state. Seven billion people now inhabit this earth. What can we do? Go out, take a walk, live at three miles an hour for at least a part of each day. Deny that other world. The one that moves you about so quickly and rewards you with such minimal effort. Find your own pace … find yourself. “Keep your hand on that plow … Hold on!