I Met Peace Pilgrim

This is Peace Pilgrim. She started walking in 1953, and she walked until she died in 1981 to promote her cause of World peace. That’s twenty eight years of walking.

She walked over 25,000 miles in the US and Canada saying that she would eat when someone gave her food and sleep when offered at bed.

Henry admired her. He revered her actually, so when she walked through our city, this was a major event. Plans were made to meet her, and shake her hand as she passed.

The day arrived. I was about seven years old, and we drove from the desert to the city and posted up on the side of the road in the hot sun to wait for her to come up over the hill. We were going to intercept her.

Twenty minutes passed and she didn’t show. Henry agonized that she may have passed and we’d missed her, but then she came into sight. I don’t think I ever saw my Grandfather so overcome with emotion. She was his Pope.

“There she is! There she is!” he said, excitedly.

I gotta say, she was awesome. She really did look like a vision. She was a moving force and moving swiftly by the way. She wasn’t kidding about walking down the road.

Henry had a water bottle, and I had three bananas. She stopped, nodded at us and said “Good day”. She took the water bottle from him, and drank from it before giving it back. I handed her the bananas and she ripped one off and gave two back. “One is plenty, child. Peace,” she said.

She walked off, at the same fast pace, waving with one hand but not looking back. I watched her walk away kind of stunned and mesmerized, reading the back of her shirt, “10,000 miles for peace”.

Henry said, “She’s a wonderful woman, walking like that.”

We got in the truck and went home.

Here is a quote from an interview with Peace Pilgrim, regarding astrology:

Q: How old are you?

A: Along my pilgrimage route many people would ask my age. I told them I did not know my age and I did not intend to figure it out. I know my birth date. It lingers at the fringes of my memory, but I won’t divulge it. What purpose would it serve? Many have tried also to guess my old name. The most interesting guess was that I’m Amelia Earhart. I’m very thankful that age is now out of my mind. As long as I counted birthdays and started thinking about getting older, I did get older. Age is a state of mind, and I think of myself as ageless. And that’s my advice to others. Get to be as old as you want to be and then stop creating age.

I never give out my zodiac sign either. Do you honestly think I can be pushed around by a planet? Good heavens, your divine nature is always free–it’s only your self-centered nature that is not free. I have two reasons for not giving out my sign. One is that some enterprising astrologer might figure out a horoscope on me, and what a waste of time that would be. And if my birth time were known I would be deluged by birthday cards just as I am deluged with Christmas cards now, and I would have to take another two weeks off each year to answer them.”

Peace Pilgrim was born July 18,1908 with a stellium in Cancer.

25 thoughts on “I Met Peace Pilgrim”

  1. “your divine nature is always free-it’s only your self-centered nature that is not free”

    wow.. amazing lady. Your grandfather was amazing too. I loved this post!

  2. I love seeing pics of your grandfather standing on his hands or head. He makes it look so easy.. with such gusto for life!

  3. There have been lots of mentions and pictures of Grandpappy Cappy, but none of the other Grandparents in your life Elsa. I suppose there is always one that you identify with more than the rest. Also July 18 (not sure which year) is the birthday of Nelson Mandela. It seems that both these people can/could do anything for what they believe in and inspire others.

  4. Found online:

    “Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the small village of Mvezo, on the Mbashe River, district of Umtata in Transkei, South Africa. His Father named him Rolihlahla, which means “pulling the branch of the tree”, or more colloquially “troublemaker.” The name Nelson was not given until his first day at school.”

    His father’s middle name was Henry, btw.

  5. Wow. You got to meet the Peace Pilgrim. I remember hearing her on a radio show years ago, and was impressed. Someone on the show asked her about people getting drunk for some reason. She answered that lower spirits “hung around” bars, and when people became very inebriated these beings would hop in and take over. That image stayed with me, especially when I became a bartender. Explained a lot about some of the customers.
    What an awesome Grandpa you had. Loved this story.

  6. HOLY COW you met Peace Pilgrim. She has been one of my heros since I was a little girl. what was her presence like if you dont mind me asking. I always had this idea that she could just see through all the bs of the world.

  7. Well, I met her just like this said. Her energy was breezy. Breezy and energetic. She was smiling, moving, all switches on, thinking, happy, determined and committed. She came by in a whoosh.

  8. momma – yes. She definitely lived up to her press. She moved as if carried. She was amazing. A singular human being and another thing, cool, no one bestowed this on her. She was not thrown up there by Hollywood, or elevated by a church or something. She was entirely homegrown and I’d don’t think we’ve seen the likes of her since.

  9. Thanks for bringing Peace Pilgrim to my attention Elsa. I have never heard of her before, but it seems many famous people admire her, though Im not a big Tom Hanks fan…


    About twelve years ago I used to have a book written by an MD from the Sorbonne whose research of the History of Medicine was funded by the French Government. He explained that ghosts are not exactly what we think they are, but shattered pieces of what survives physical death. For instance, the part of that person that liked to drink would gravitate to a saloon.

    European languages are limited in the proper terminology. For example, any Native American language would have several or maybe even dozens of words for different kinds of “spirit,” but none have even a single word for “love.” The proper translation would be, I “want” this person. Thats a cold hard fact!

    Back to the doctors book, he said “ghosts” are especially prevalent in hospitals and infect people all the time; women are especially vulnerable and that 100 years ago, operating rooms would have skylights which would eliminate this problem. Root vegetables can draw/absorb these types of toxins.

    I sure hope this post might be useful and Im not a rambling bore, because there is a woman that could not only achieve her astrological destiny, but could overide it. And She didnt schlepp the information reading no books, she accessed knowledge directly from the source.

    GI Gurdjieff said regular effort means nothing, and what is required is “superhuman effort.” For the past twelve years I have come to believe that there originally was something to the requirement for interns to work 24 or even 48 hour shifts. But nowadays, Boo Boos wanna reform health care and even Howard Stern has interns.

    1. Fascinating about the Native American languages! Wonder if any have a word for “nurture” or “cherish” or “worship?” The word “love” can include all of those plus “want,” perhaps the N.A. languages refine and differentiate rather than generalize?

      1. My understanding of Native American languages is that all that is in the environment is not differentiated in the languages as not alive like themselves. No inanimate things. A chair, clothing etc. is differentiated as made, crafted, created, art. The entirety is more indicative to with who they live and how to live with each other rather than worship of a singular other found in many religions. The Inuit have about 30 words describing the properties of snow.

        1. Wow. Now I’m wondering which other cultures include anything comparable to our concept of romantic love.

  10. Awesome memory and story! I vaguely remember hearing that Peace Pilgrim was walking through this area many years ago. I can understand her outlook on age, her age and birthdate. Not out of any superstition more common 100 years ago but out of overcoming distractions from her purpose. The few degrees around July 18th are on the north node of Saturn.

  11. You know a woman is a cool and class act not only because she takes on the globe by feet to WALK the talk for peace but when you give three bananas she returns two. I like that detail very much.

  12. I met Peace Pilgrim too. She spent a night at a rural Quaker Boarding school I attended in 1972 and spoke to us after dinner one night. I was a weird teen, enthralled with spirituality. My roommate was sick, so I followed PP and her staff member/hostess back to their cabin. She turned and asked me what I wanted. I asked her to pray for my roommate who had been sick.
    Her reply was that she didn’t usually do that, because people need to learn the lessons that the universe is giving them, but that she would pray for MY prayers to be magnified.
    The next morning my roommate woke up and told me she had a dream that I came to her surrounded and lit up by rainbows.
    True story.

  13. I love this story, It is interesting to me that she started running in 1953? That year saturn in libra squared Uranus in cancer and with a stellium in cancer,one can only imagine what set her off on her journey! She most certainly did reinvent herself and her home. Beautiful woman.

  14. Thank you so much for telling your story and reminding me about Peace Pilgrim. What an inspiration she was – is! Love that you met her. Wow wow wow.

    There is a web site: Peacepilgrim.org

    1. There is a link to a book on her web site. Here is a quote from it:

      “So I got busy on a very interesting project.This was to live all the good things I believed in. I did not confuse myself by trying to take them all at once, but rather if I was doing something that I knew I shouldn’t be doing I stopped doing it and I always made a quick relin- quishment.That’s the easy way.Tapering off is long and hard.And if I was not doing something that I knew I should be doing, I got busy on that. It took the living quite a while to catch up with the believ- ing, but of course it can, and now if I believe something, I live it. Otherwise it would be perfectly meaningless. As I lived according to the highest light I had, I discovered that other light was given; that I opened myself to receiving more light as I lived the light I had.”

  15. i love this woman’s philosphy ^^ its so awesome you got to meet her. And she wont be pushed around by a zodiac sign lol stellium in cancer too.

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