"When all the myriad streams that flow in different places, each with its own color and taste, enter the great ocean, they blend and become just one taste, with one name."
- Visuddhi Magga
Day 12 - Tuesday, July 4, 1995 - The Sunbow 5 Walk for the Earth strode through Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the eyes of the walkers fell upon a staggering degree of urban desolation and pollution.
They noted in particular that two sacred rivers -- the Housatonic and the Pequonnock -- meet the sea here in this holy but defiled location. Then the mingled waters flow outward on a global odyssey through the vast network of oceans that dominates our planet Earth. Just the way it is now, this meeting is unclean. Fish are dying in poisoned waters all over our world.
"There's been terrible environmental damage here," Tom told me. "The rivers we saw were desecrated with garbage and toxic dumping. No one can drink from them or swim in them. There’s no need for that."
The walk passed an environmental disaster site that the Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to clean up by bulldozing the toxic crud under the soil. The walkers saw a heaping pile of toxic sludge that looked like oozing asphalt, but that is shot through with chromium and mercury, substances that endure for eons and that can retard or deform our children.
"The more we walk, the more we see and feel the pain of the Earth," Tom said. "People drive by us all the time on these hot days with their windows rolled all the way up, using air conditioning in their cars. They stare at us as if we were crazy. They don't want to feel the air. They don't want to smell it. They don't want to breathe it because the air is so very dirty.
"No one wants to know about it really, so they roll their windows up. We ask Creator to take pity on all of us, and to help us all wake up," Tom said. "This is real and it is what we are seeing as we walk on the earth. It's real, and it is the result of people not touching the earth, not wanting to know what her condition really is."
In accord with our mission, the walkers stopped for ceremony and prayer. They blessed the rivers, the sea, the land, the air, the human biengs and the animals, affirming that this sacred place will again be respected, clean, radiating health.