Two wonderful families run the America’s Best Value Inn where I stayed in Carlsbad. As I mentioned before, the wind kept me there for two days, and my friend Winnie graciously paid for those days. Upon checking out, the owners asked me what I was doing. They being Indian, found my message resonated with their Hindu beliefs and those of the venerated hero of India—Gandhi. As such the kind people refused to allow anyone to pay for my stay at the hotel, and refunded all the money for my stay. Such kind people.

Having run 3000 miles on my previous set of tires, my friends the Kobashi’s bought me all new gear. The new tires however only made it 7 miles before one of the tubes completely blew up. Green slime was everywhere. In the moment, I felt frustrated. I began to pity my situation…it would be a long walk back to Carlsbad on a deflated tire. The prospect wasn’t all that enticing.

That lasted for about 30 seconds, and then I thought…”Hey, this is an opportunity!” I cleaned up the tire, and put out my thumb and hoped for the best. People have told me about southern hospitality, and I’ve experienced more people waving back to me on the road then ever before. I thought, as many people as wave to me now, hitching a ride should not take but a moment. That moment lasted for a long time.

Again frustration mounted as I watched people switch lanes to avoid my pleading thumb. It wasn’t for a lack of trucks with empty beds…thisis New Mexico after all. I then meditated on my situation, and compassion overwhelmed me. All these people rushing by avoiding a guy with a baby carriage…what if I HAD actually had a baby? I felt so sad for them that their life has been so inundated with fear. So many scared people. So sad. As I sat there beaming peace and love back to them, I felt the impression that, “The person who needs to hear your message the most is the one that will stop…just be patient and wait for them.”

As often happens on this pilgrimage, that which I need never comes from my 12 o’clock, but it sneaks up on me and comes in a way that I never expect. My needs are usually met at my 6. Low and behold while I wasn’t even looking a man named Lakyeemo, Kymo for short, was backing his truck up to me. I walked up to his window and he asked, “What’s going on?” I explained my situation, and my need to return the tube to Walmart. He said, “I’m not going that way.” I thanked him anyway, and began to return to my post, but then he stopped me. “I can give you a ride into town, but I am just not going toward the Walmart.”

Sweet!

I loaded up my gear in the back of his truck and off we went. After explaining my pilgrimage, he said, “Dude, I think what you are doing is great. I’ll take you to the Walmart.” After arriving there, I began to say goodbye and thanked him profusely for the ride. He replied, “Whoah, we ain’t done yet. You go get what you need, and then I’ll drive you back out to where I picked you up.” He was ready to pay for new tires and water for me as well, but I assured him that I still had the receipt, and all would be well.

Kymo helped me replace the tube, and drove me all the back. As we drove back I discovered that Kymo is the kind of man that always helps others out. He has picked up tons of hitchhikers, given them money, and helps out strangers all the time. Growing up, he helped Mexicans by feeding and clothing them and giving them rides back and forth across the border. Kymo even adopted two children, though he is only 35, and has raised them with his wife as his own. He has fought for foster children, and recently became a grandfather from one of his adopted children.

As I mentioned before, I had the impression that whoever would pick me up would be the person that needed to hear what I am doing. It seems that I was the one who needed to be picked up by Kymo to hear his message and learn from his example of selfless service and love. Quite an example indeed.

Love, Art, & Peace to All.

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