- Sherry Turkle
Day 35 - Thursday, July 27, 1995 - Grandfather Commanda and Frank Decontie departed from the walk, heading home to Maniwaki, Quebec. The walkers themselves departed Washington, D.C., heading into Virginia, holding the hope of quieter roads and cooler days.
By evening the Sunbow pilgrims were setting up camp at the Arlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia. What a contrast. Instead traffic, smog, and malls, here the walkers are surrounded by grasses, trees and handsome broods of swans, ducks, and geese floating on fresh-water ponds. The air is alive with insects, and songbirds, and floral scents.
Dr. William Slater, director of the center, has given us a wam welcome. His work, he explains, is with Canada Geese that have lost their innate ability to find their way back north in the warmer weather. With the use of a small one-man plane, Dr. Slater journeys aloft with the gaggle and reminds them of their ancient flyway.
Staff at the Arlie Center fed the walkers as if they were royalty. Later a thunderstorm -- strong and beautiful -- came upon them all, filling the night with sound and light.
Tom has been asking everywhere for a bus. He is hoping someone will donate an old school bus to the walk. Just now the walk is using a motley array of vehicles to haul camping equipment and personal clothing, and to shuttle people back and forth between encampments and the road. Tom wants to consolidate people and equipment, and put our walk on a tight energy consumption budget.
| Whirling Rainbow - Navajo sand painting by Nelson J. Cambridge, from the author's private collection. Photo of circular rainbow image by Stephen Clarke, 2006.
We are walking under the symbol of the Sunbow, or Whirling Rainbow, a natural phenomenon of a 360-degree rainbow that forms around the Sun.
In Navajo tradition the image of the Whirling Rainbow is associated with friendly rains that nurture the earth during the summer. Whirling Rainbow Woman, who curves, is said to come from all four directions and to also bring healing. The out side of the Sacred Circle is protected by another image of Whirling Rainbow Woman bending her body in the space to protect what is tender, and to form a bowl to catch the rain.
In Navajo healing ways, many times an image of the Whirling Rainbow is created in sand paintings, an ancient and powerful healing art.
For our walk, the symbol of the Whirling Rainbow conveys the reality that just now in world history different cultures (colors of the rainbow) are whirling (interacting). In nature an abundance of diversity and interaction is an expression of health and vitality; so it may be with human cultures, diversity and interaction expressions of health and vitality, expressions of the transition from an old time to a new time.
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