An Autumn Walk for Peace
A narrative from biology faculty Camilla Bridge
On Friday, November 3rd, my husband, Dr. Steven Bridge, and I walked from the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Campus in Standish to the Seeds Of Peace Camp (SOP) in Otisfield, ME. The 20-mile trek took us nearly 7 hours to complete and we were joined by our coworker, Dr. Patty Waters.
I know what you’re thinking: Why on earth would anyone voluntarily walk 20 miles? In part, it’s because we are heartbroken.
We are heartbroken about the seemingly unending violence and suffering in the world as of late. On October 7th, the world was shocked to hear about the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel. Since then, nearly 10,000 people in Gaza (a region the size of Maine) have also lost their lives in this escalating conflict. Add to that the 500,000 lives lost (so far) in the war between Russia and Ukraine. And, of course, even in our own backyard, the 18 lives taken due to gun violence in Lewiston just last week. Who wouldn’t be heartbroken? So this journey was our way of demonstrating our solidarity with the innocent victims of violence.
But we are also determined. Determined to promote peace and to put an end to violence. “We reject what is, when we know what can be.” (SOP) The nonviolence calls for promoting “peace through prayer, education, personal and communal practices of nonviolence, and legislative advocacy to reduce armed conflicts, gun violence and human rights abuses.” To this end, we were determined to lend our moral and financial support to organizations like SOP, who are deeply dedicated to the challenging and difficult work of peacemaking in some of the most notoriously conflict-ridden regions of the world.
I am happy to report that we raised–and personally delivered–over $1,000 for Seeds of Peace. Dr. Martin Luther King summed it up best: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Although our bodies were sore and tired at the end of our journey, our ability to do something meaningful provided a bit of light in the midst of this darkness. We invite all members of the SJC community to join us in spreading this light by supporting SOP peacemaking work as well.