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Crossing Indianapolis

Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 08:32AM by Registered CommenterMarshall Massey in | Comments4 Comments

From Lebanon (where I last reported on my journey) to Noblesville (where I am now) is a traverse of 27 miles from west to east across the northern edge of the Indianapolis exurbs.

Lebanon and Noblesville are older towns that have been swelled by an influx of big corporate employers and subdivision builders taking advantage of cheap land. In between the two are the usual exurban mix of exurban homes, older farm homes, small rural businesses, new exurban businesses, and farmland.

jun 23-24.jpgBusiness traffic roars down the little two-lane highway that was my route, and the shoulders, where I try to walk, are very narrow. One can hardly hear the birds for long stretches, when the traffic is particularly thick.

Areas like this are strongly reminiscent to me of the suburb I grew up in. I have already posted about my experience there! Needless to say, my fundamental reaction when I find myself in such a region is to pray for the creatures, who are doomed by onrushing urban development, and don’t know it.

About halfway from Lebanon to Noblesville, I discovered a Friends church, Eagle Creek Evangelical Friends Church, which I hadn’t seen listed in any of the directories I used when I planned my journey. It’s a fairly big one, too, with parking sufficient to handle a congregation of well over one hundred. Alas, no one was there for me to talk to! Friends in Noblesville later told me that Eagle Creek is an independent, another congregation led to drop out of our larger Society by its own drift to the right and the Society’s (perceived) drift to the left.

I took a few opportunities to try walking parts of the distance from Lebanon to Noblesville. Two or three miles at a time still seems to be the most my ankles can handle, and my ankles need long rests between one walk and the next.

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting with Friends at First Friends Church of Noblesville. That was a very fruitful meeting, and I hope to report on it in my next posting.

jun 25-27.jpgToday, after worshiping with Noblesville Friends, I proceed down the road to Fall Creek Friends Meeting in Pendleton, Indiana, to meet with them. Following that I meet with Cadiz Friends on Monday night, New Castle Friends on Tuesday night, Richmond Friends on Friday — it’s going to be a busy week!

Friends, I will be thinking of you with love as I proceed.

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Reader Comments (4)

One of these days, could you post a larger scale map of your trip, so we could see how far you are overall? Just once in a while? That would be fun too.

Thinking of you with love as you proceed,

-- comment posted by Robin M., http://robinmsf.blogspot.com/
June 26th, 2006 at 1:23 a.m.
Sep 3, 2006 at 06:44PM | Registered CommenterMarshall Massey
Robin, the software used for this web site will not permit maps wider than 399 pixels. Within those limits, the best I can do are the two maps at this web page.

-- comment posted by Marshall
June 26th, 2006 at 10:30 a.m.
Sep 3, 2006 at 06:45PM | Registered CommenterMarshall Massey
Your description of the exurb phenomenon reminds me of the dreadful polar bear situation. Both illustrate what can happen when predators compete for diminishing habitat.

With an exurb, those with larger assets (money and jobs) eat up those with smaller assets (devalued property and no job security). Most of the familiar habitat (farms, neighbors, animals, small businesses) dissolves under a tidal wave of asphalt, steel, bricks and glass.

But in the midwest, ironically, the “little guys” are the heirs of those who devoured the habitat of earlier inhabitants. This process is part of what I have been taught to believe is “growth” and “progress.” Indeed, many mouths have been fed, and we can eat bananas during the coldest winters. But in their self absorption, growth and progress deal fairly ruthlessly with what has gone before. If Native Americans had written our history and natural history textbooks, I think those two words would not now be such honored icons of our national mythos.

It seems to me that our testimonies of peace, simplicity, integrity, community, and equality are deeply challenged by this mythos of growth and progress in light of our diminishing habitat. However, growth and progress have accustomed us to change. God willing, with wisdom and love we will adapt to continue to help transform the earth into a peaceable kingdom. We must do this, or the fate of the polar bears may be ours as well.

-- comment posted by Judy E.
June 26th, 2006 at 11:14 p.m.
Sep 3, 2006 at 06:46PM | Registered CommenterMarshall Massey
I just meant a map of the same size that showed a wider amount of the trip, with mark indicating how far you are now. Maybe it’s not worth it. I was able to figure out where the half way point was on the other maps.

-- comment posted by Robin M., http://robinmsf.blogspot.com/
June 28th, 2006 at 2:21 p.m.
Sep 3, 2006 at 06:47PM | Registered CommenterMarshall Massey

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