In Helping Others, I Help Myself—so Why Don’t I Feel Better?

A Caravan of One

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Forty-two Miles to Nowhere.

I watch him walking west all day with more baggage than anyone who is used to walking ever carries.

East. West. East. West.

Each time I pass him, he has made it only a little farther and my day is made longer as I begin to share his torment.

A mile, then a stop to rest. Then another mile. Another rest.

He is determined. Not waiting around for help like those who spend the day with illegible signs proclaiming blessings of gods and spiteful humor.

He’s helping himself. That makes me want to help.

Finally, my day ends. I oil my bike and fill the tires. I check the rack and make sure I have the bags handy. I wish I had my strong backpack with me. It is in storage now, collecting dust and letting the memory of miles fade.

I stop for food and…

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