As I rose this morning I was struck with gratitude. So often it seems that I am lucky enough to report on the good things that people have been doing for others and all the kind things people have done to help me in my journey. There are so many things that people have done it seems I’m at a loss for words to express my gratitude.

Sandy’s mother and Jodie both “snuck” money into my gear without me knowing. They knew that I wouldn’t accept it otherwise. But, what a nice surprise when I opened up this or that compartment just to find a mad stash of money waiting for me. Very kind. I was able to buy some toilet paper, groceries, and dinner with it very kind. There was also the kind people I met in San Clemente who gave me a Subway card. There was the wonderful woman I met this morning at a roadside lemonade stand here in Brenda, AZ. She gave me coffee and juice, and offered me breakfast. The painting of the Jumping Cholla was for her.

In Blythe, my friend Winnie offered me a hotel room, and anything I needed from the store. I took her up on her offer, and was able to multiply her generosity. In Blythe, I met Paul and was able to offer him the second bed in the room and the shower. I also met Tom who was hitch-hiking and had been stuck in Blythe for 10 days un-able to get out. When I was walking up to him, I asked the universe what I should do for him, the impression that I got was to give him anything that he asks of you. He asked for a ride, and we both laughed about my cart. But I was able to give him all that was in my pocket. Even though I am on the receiving side so often, it was nice to be able to give from my excess.

Last night, coincidences just happened so smoothly that providence had to be at work. My friends JC and Terri braved the cool desert night with their two boys Logan and Calvin to find me in the desert. They came to love on me, bring me water and a subway, and remind me why friends are the family that chooses us. As we sat around the fire playing ukulele and eating Moonpies, I felt as if I were the luckiest man in the world. I had the love of a brother and a sister and two boys with I couldn’t love more if they were my own.

According to Logan, I am the second best wilderness man he knows, but I am the best uncle. Who could not feel rich with friends like these? Who could not want to try to give back love as freely as it is given. Why am I on this pilgrimage? That we all might remember that it is in giving that we are at our greatest incarnation. It is in the receiving that we show our compassion. It is in the loving that we are sons of peace.

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