No pictures. I apologize. We'll definately have to take some next week unless they miraculously end the occupation war in Iraq and send our troops home. You know, mourn the dead, heal the wounded, end the war. But I'll take some pictures next time.
The weather was gorgeous. A perfect 76 degrees with a slight breeze to cool us in the bright sun on this cloudless day. WE had 11 adults and four children. A couple of the children were older kids, but still kids, 12 and 14 years old. I'll make the count 15 total for week number 21.
A man walked up across the grass from behind us. He came right up to me. I don't know why he came up to me. Maybe because I watch my back and turn around often and when he approached, I happened to be checking the rear of our "platoon".
The man was pretty big and dressed in farmers overalls. He handed me two pieces of paper. Both had a printed message and he muttered something to me as he handed them to me that they were for anyone who wanted to read them. I glanced at them and saw the first sentence and it said something about space aliens in 1947. I read the message after he left and it turned out to be a bad attempt at humor which slammed Democrats. I was a little excited as I thought here was some information that might make some sense about the war from the other respective. But alas, just berating others and no substance towards peace.
He went on to tell me that there were sodiers that didn't appreciate what we were doing here on Tuesdays in Ashland. I calmly told the man this, "All we are asking for is an end to the killing and destruction. We want the sodiers to come home, safely."
The man told me that the Koran says that there are only two people in the world, Muslims and dead people. He went on to tell me that he would buy me a one way plane ticket to Iraq and a casket.
I pointed to my Vietnam Veterans cap, complete with regalia, and told him, "I shed blood so you can have your opinion and I could have mine."
He went on a little more about Veterans honking horns. All the while this was going on, many cars that passed were honking their horns. He turned and left the same way he arrived, from behind the vigilers. I walked up to Mrs. Spadoman and told her what had happened. Pat, a minister who stands often with us, overheard me. They both said that I handled things very well.
To be perfectly honest, I am so damn proud of myself that I didn't raise my voice. I didn't get angry. I was calm and steady and stood for peace in actions and words. Ten years ago, I might have had quite a different confrontation. But the healing has helped and now I can stand tall and be proud of who I am. I thanked the man for stopping by. Should I count him in the tally?
Otherwise, an Elder named Pat was there and an Elder named Darl. Both in their 70's and both regulars. Pat has a Grandson deployed and wants him home safe. David was there, another regular. Two other women stopped and held signs. Marsha was there, my friend Steve from the St. Paul coffee shop. A great bunch of people asking for peace. I wonder why that man came up to me?
We'll continue to meet at 5 PM on Tuesdays on the corner of Chapple and Main in Ashland, Wisconsin.
May Peace prevail on the Sacred Earth Mother.