In recent days, here at OM HQ, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Christine Baker . . . .
You’ll recall that Christine is hiking The Appalachian Trail to raise funds for Walk4Good, a non-profit organization dedicated to ‘inspiring and empowering people to practice kindness and pass acts of kindness onto others’.
Christine is not alone, because at her side are Jessie, her faithful labrador, and Maya (pictured above, on the trail), a special OM crafted here in Saunderstown, Rhode Island. But there’s more . . . .
You see, thanks to her unbreakable belief in connection and her determination to do good, the New Yorker couldn’t want for more company. Carrying hopes, dreams and dedications on her 2,181-mile path, Christine has found that being in the wilderness is anything but an isolating experience.
Indeed, in a recent dispatch, Christine noted that ‘I’m carrying all the dedications with me [and], in fact, once or twice I looked behind me thinking there was a crowd of people at my back. I’d like to think there were [because] with every step I know I’m walking for something greater than myself. I walk for kindness. Today, I walked for someone’s grandmother. I walked for a best friend. I walked for three mothers and one dad. I walked for two people’s families. I walked for all the 9/11 victims and their families. Before I left I read all of the dedications I was walking for and my heart swelled with love, with pride and with gratitude. With each step I feel more connected to the people around me, to my friends, to my family and to the 1,200 strangers who have promised that they’ll practice kindness. The beauty of this day was not lost on me.’
The beauty of Christine’s words were not lost on us, hence our determination to share them.
In the beginning, we thought Christine’s quest sounded interesting and her desire to take Maya along was cool . . . .
But it’s more than that, for it’s clear that we have met a truly like-minded person, someone who shares all our qualities and beliefs – the things that inspire our OMs also serving to motivate her mission.
It’s rare that this happens and so it’s something to celebrate. This connection feels like a blessing and it’s one we’re thrilled to have made.
Wherever our intrepid trio might be this morning, we wish them well on the trail. We’d like to leave the final word to Christine, for she’s rather good at this kind of thing . . . .
‘I know that with each step we walk, someone in our Walk4Good family is out there practicing kindness. Whether it’s a lonely stretch of trail, a wide expanse of beach, a forest of ferns thick with shade in the heat of summer or a breezy hilltop, hope, charity, community and gratitude walk with me. This I know . . . .
‘Even in a concrete parking lot, a single weed will poke through. That is goodness to me. Even in the most extreme and dire circumstances, hope will find a way to take hold and grow. And grow. I know this and as I have read the incredibly touching dedications, I am reminded of our capacity for goodness. I am reminded of how much the people in our lives mean to us.
‘If I am left with one thought on this day, it is to tell the people in my life I love them. You should do the same. Make time for it. Today. Because on this day, the only limitations we have are the ones we allow to hold us down.’