Friday, May 20, 2011

In a Washington D.C. of my own,

all the flowers. . .
Would have very
Extra special powers
They would sit
And talk to me for hours
When I'm lonely
In a world of my own
Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland

Roaming around DC, during our week at the Power Shift sustainability conference, gave my two friends and I the chance to bump into some truly rockin' souls.Meet Cody! When I first saw him I thought of the term "punk." Where else could I actually use it? He has a good heart, I really liked him. He and his brother traveled from West Virginia to Washington D.C. (Travis, also pictured below.) They set off on their grandfather's bikes, both of which were destroyed on the way... School was out, it was Spring break, and they wanted to see what it was like to be on their own and free. I couldn't tell if they were runaways from home or from society. They packed their bags, some cooking tools, and little cash to make their way. Too bad they both forgot their phone chargers. Cody was stuck with a dead phone and they both depended on Travis' cell that had an extremely low battery. Funny kids... I would have thought they would be more prepared? But hey, they did it... and they did it alone. My age and everything. What guts, man! Bless their brave souls.

Traveling along with them was a tall dude. He had just met them an hour before we did.The hitchhiker. Derek is his name. He was traveling with some friends cross country but had a dispute along the way and was dropped off on the side of the road. Wanting to see DC, he hitched a few rides there but hadn't any luck getting out of the city yet. He told us about the night before that he spent with this DC activist group called "The Radicals." They were doing a march and were holding a concert after but the band was kicked out of a spot. A church near by offered their space for the concert and a place to sleep overnight. He was baffled. The image that he described was "rocking out below a statue of Mary and baby Jesus. Frickin awesome." Such a cool dude. His small back pack contained few things, none of which were necessities but I'll always remember this notebook that he had. There were pictures in it and a story for each. He told us of the friends he made traveling and showed us their creations. He then insisted we add on to his pad. My friends drew some trees and vines. We also signed our names and facebooks. Derek's story was -he needed a ride to Charleston, Virginia. We insisted that he roam DC with us for awhile until we headed back to Power Shift, where we knew he was destined to find a ride!
My two friends and I helped all three of them make signs to bring back to Power Shift. "Going green -- would like to carpool to __, any help?" Thank goodness for all the lovely souls that joined us at the P.S. conference. With all the smiley faces and good people, many offered rides without compensation. I shot Cody a text the next day and received warming news. He said him and his brother arrived home safely the night before. They were knocked off their feet by all the sweet people. He also thanked me for calling and worrying about their safety like a "mom." What else was I supposed to do? I mean, we all hung out for close to five hours -- by the end of that time we had made connections and inside jokes. I considered them my friends. And mostly, I was just glad things worked smoothly. Oh and Derek, he made his way to western Virginia with some folks too and he even recently added me on facebook. His pictures are cheery! I'm so happy we were able to reconnect.

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