I too, Wonder as I Wander
By Audri Scott Williams
From the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk
As I awakened this morning in Morocco, the sounds of vendors passing through the alley chanting their presence and their products; and, children laughing - little ones crying - as they head to school, I am filled with the potential of this day. I am flirting with the aroma from the corner bakery which has been taunting me since 4:00 a.m. (I am 8 days into a 21 day fast). The sun showering the room with light is announcing the beginning of a new day. It is intoxicating.
I am engulfed in a wave of gentle, peaceful and tearful acknowledgement of all the places and people we have met along this journey and those Trail Angels who continue to love and support us. I am in awe of the Grace that has been granted to us as we have traveled by faith from our very first (take a deep breath) step in Atlanta, GA, to our current location in Marrakesh, Morocco. As my new found family here would say, “Humd Allah (All praises to Allah!”
Sitting here contemplating my “current place,” like Langston Hughes, I too, “Wonder as I Wander.” From this vantage point I have begun to ponder the significance of this walk…as a woman, as an African American woman born just in time to be profoundly impacted by the Civil Rights movement and the role of my family in Fayetteville, NC long before it was “popular” to be identified with the movement.
I was a young child when the world (not just America) was ALIVE with causes and struggles for justice and equality. My elders and peers were rapt up in a mighty cause to put an end to oppression and segregation—struggling to rid America once and for all of the laws upholding the practice of “separate but equal”. Inspired by the sit-ins, marches and amazing acts of courage to withstand white oppression by “Negroes” from coast to coast: women were burning their bras and demanding equality; the American Indian Movement was birthed and put new energy into standing up and demanding self-determination among Native Americans and international recognition of their treaty rights; Kwame Nkrumah was leading African countries into independence as Ghana’s first elected Prime Minister, over thirty other African countries would soon follow; Nelson Mandela was imprisoned; the Caribbean, Asia and India were all standing up to colonial governments and demanding their independence; poetry and music rang out with We Shall Over Come, Give Peace A Chance, What’s Going On, Say it Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud, Inner City Blues… amid shouts of I Have A Dream, Black Power, Red Power, Participatory Democracy, Women’s Power, Chicano Power, … This period (1960’s - 1970’s) was spontaneous, emotional, passionate, ALIVE! Change was in the air.
As a child whose parents met the call for action head on, perhaps my destiny, unbeknownst to me, was already being shaped, molded and set for the day when “a dream” would send me around the world to engage, assess, and be reborn into the truth that comes from a journey to places and people often confined to pages in a book. I became the dreamer who stands in the midst of the dreams, intoxicated by its possibilities, and seizes the moment to set a course for years to come. Harriet Tubman dreamed the dream that reached through time and pulled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. forward and he had the Dream that pulled me forward to stand on this world stage and declare that we can change the world one step at a time. Dr. King made it emphatically clear that “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one, directly affects all indirectly”.