A walk in the dark: patrolling with the Samaritans


"That's Gray Well," said Bob, pointing to an old-fashioned windmill as we pulled into a spot of shade. It sang a dark, galvanized song as the breeze turned it around and around. We'd been on the road for a couple hours, half of it on a remote, twisting road. I had come to the Coronado National Forest, near the border in Arizona, to see migration for myself.

Olga, Leo and I got out and stretched our legs, talking about the life of the migrant. We were a dental technician, a church worker, a retired paramedic and ranger, and an astronomer. Soon Leo will walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain; while most Americans are waking up and wondering what to wear, Olga searches for dark matter in the hearts of galaxies.

Whether they are Buddhist, Catholic, Quaker or Unitarian, when it comes to saving lives in the desert, people in this movement are all of the same communion. Today I would learn one more way this is done, looking for migrants in trouble, left behind and lost, disabled, sick from drinking cattle water. The weather had been cool but it had not rained, reducing the risk for now.