It’s hard to put into context the enormity of what we have been a part of, learned, and observed this past week in Salt Lake City. I could go into detail about any one part; from the potency of the wisdom the key note speakers shared with us during the weekend summit, to having lunch with Terry Tempest Williams yesterday, to what it’s like being in the courtroom, observing Tim’s trial. I have heard so many inspiring people speak and have gained an exponential amount of knowledge just in these past few days. There have been many many special moments that have struck me and left me with a lot to think about. One moment that I want to share, occurred on Monday morning during the Peaceful Uprising march through the streets of Salt Lake City. The weekend had passed and we were all ready to show our support for Tim as his trial was scheduled to start that morning. People gathered at a small park to rally and begin the march to the courthouse where we would spend the day standing in solidarity in support of Tim. As we marched through the streets I felt something that I have never felt before.
We were singing. The sun was warm and brilliant, shining over the snow covered mountains and the valley that contains the city. I was walking. We were all walking. Drums were being played. Our voices joined together. We were going to be heard. People were going to listen. The beat of the drums wrapped my body in one giant heartbeat. I shut my eyes. The potency and amount of love, joy and peacefulness held me. Carried me. Tears ran down my face, but I was not sad. The beauty of what we had created was overwhelming.
The days have been long and we have not been getting much sleep; mostly due to the fact that we are too excited to quiet our minds and rest. So whenever I feel defeated and like I just can’t go another minute, I think of what was going on in that moment during the march and how it had felt. I think of everything that moment represented and it gives me the inspiration to overcome the tiredness or the sadness. These past few days have given me so many incredible experiences and life lessons that will be with me forever.
There was a storm coming. We had been preparing so diligently for Tim’s trial and our trip to Utah that we couldn’t have even fathomed not being able to get out of Nevada City; so we decided to leave a day early. After some mad packing, quite a few trips down the icy hill on the red saucers, and a lunch of Shepard’s pie, we were just about ready to leave base camp. Around four o’clock, we piled in to Van Diesel (our 15-passanger, bio-diesel fueled, FtG semester van) and took off. There was a slight buzz kill after about three minutes of driving when we realized something had been forgotten at the house and we had to go back. Then, we were on the road for real. We took a short detour to Mother Truckers where Debra purchased a jar of pickles that she said would power her through the long hours of driving. We hit Hwy. 80 just before sunset and the colors were so stunningly beautiful. The oranges and pinks reflecting on the snow blended with the dark storm clouds looming overhead and kept us mesmerized until the sun disappeared. I feel asleep in Reno and was awakened a few hours later in Winnemucca where we made a pit stop and the boys were commissioned to wash the van windows. From there I slept until we rolled into Elko, Nevada, around midnight. We got the last room at a Days Inn and had a restful slumber; Tyler’s sleep talking only woke us up once. This morning when we were discussing his sleep talking, no one could remember what he had actual said. We packed up and hopped back on the highway; with about three hours of driving left. We stopped to take photographs of the Ruby Mountains and ran around a bit in the ice-cold wind. Debra read some of Terry Tempest William’s writings and we talked about how they related to what is happening with Tim and his trial. Much trail mix, dried mango, and cheese on crackers was consumed as we crossed into Utah, listening to the peace and freedom songs that will be sung at the midnight vigil on Sunday night – the eve of Tim’s trial. The miles to Salt Lake City are reducing with each mileage sign. The flat valleys and snow-covered mountains are flying by as Tom fearlessly sets the van on cruise control and points us in the right direction.