only in utah.
this is the first thing I thought.
I usually reserve that comment for ridiculously strait-laced, bigoted legislators and absurd liquor laws, but this morning's vision caused the phrase to emblazon itself across my mind,
only in utah.
however, I was wrong.
not only in utah, but in iowa, nebraska, and wyoming as well. throughout those states tens of thousands of people have seen during the past few months what I saw this morning: a tall, bearded man wearing clothes more common during the 19th century than now pulling a hand cart, a woman in pioneer garb by his side.
since June 9 of this year, Doc Cleland has been walking, pulling his handcart, on a trek reenacting what the Mormon pioneers did in the 1850's. a 1400 mile trek, sleeping in an 1850's tent and eating what the pioneers ate: no bike, no GUs, no power bars or gatorade, no soft hotel beds, no massages, no ipod.
today was the end of his trek, and I saw him about 8 miles from the end, and then again less than 3 miles from his destination, the This is the Place monument.
what an honor for me. he smiled and responded "hello" to my cheery hi!, and I had absolutely no idea what a remarkable man I had just passed.
a camera truck was following him, and it wasn't until I came upon them again on my way down the canyon that I could see and read the large sticker on the rear of the truck, which read, faith greater than pain.com.
faith greater than pain: I liked that.
I liked that a lot.
because it offers a fairly accurate description of how so many of us survive our undertakings: our faith is much stronger than the pain we endure. we believe that we will survive; we have faith that something greater than ourselves will pull us through whatever is placed, rolled, or thrown in our paths.
his faith may have a different cloak than my faith, and they may be of contrasting colors and opposing shapes, but both of our faiths are huge and unshakable, and have carried us through times of anguish and hurt and doubt. they are more alike than dissimilar, and not only are they huge and unshakable, they are ethereal and irrepressible.
his drove him to walk 1400 miles; mine drives me to ride until my heart wants to shatter and love regardless of outcome and spread seeds of gratitude throughout the world and write until I find a way to convey my faith in the glorious abundance of our universe and bring loving light to every dim and dark shadowy corner that tries to hide pain.
because faith will outlast pain when we give it the opportunity.
just ask doc.