"Through the night of doubt and sorrow,
onward goes the pilgrim band,
Singing songs of expectation,
marching to the promised land."
- Sabine Baring-Gould
Day 188 - Wednesday, December 27 - I boarded a plane in Manchester, New Hampshire and flew out to Las Vegas, Nevada to join the walk.
While on the plane I read a story in the newspaper from the Associated Press about how the world's population had just grown by 100 million people throughout the year 1995. AP said it was the largest one-year increase ever.
According to the Population Institute in Washington D.C., that 100-million jump in the number of human beings on our planet brought the world population total to 5.75 billion. Poor countries which already depleted of resources and torn by strife accounted for 90% of the growth.
Sandy Ezrine, who has been hosting the walkers at her home in Cornville, Arizona, sent out an e-mail to the Sunbow list to let everyone know how things have been unfolding.
E-mail Subject: The Sunbow Walkers in Cornville
Last night at General Circle, I told the walkers what the walk had meant to me and others following them in cyberspace. I related my feelings during all of the journey and the emotional ups and downs of the walk as we followed them across the country. I told them of our prayers and how the Sunbow Journal had become a way of meditation for me.
The Walkers arrived on Friday (Dec. 22). Then on Saturday night we had the church potluck. We had about 75 people at the church despite the fact that it was so close to Christmas.
Joe, Byron and Ned spoke to the group about the damage and destruction they have seen to the Mother Earth both at home and on the walk.
The walkers set up camp in a field next to our home. Each day a group goes to walk. Other support people stay in camp to prepare meals, gather firewood and take care of the necessities of life. A sacred fire is kept burning at all times.
The weather here is pleasant during the day, but it gets cold at night. Some of the tents have wood burning stoves to warm them. There is a woman's tent and a men's tent; others sleep in family groups or alone.
Sunday morning about 15 people went to Flagstaff to do a men's and women's purification lodge with Sundancers in Flagstaff. There was snow on the ground and it was quite cold. Coming out of the Sweat Lodge we were grateful for the cold. After the lodge we were invited to a potluck. We returned to camp about 4 PM.
On Sunday afternoon friends from the church brought a 25 LB turkey and all the fixings to the house. We started getting ready for Christmas on Sunday with the oven overflowing and the pots boiling away.
It was a real team effort. We all gathered in the house for Christmas dinner. Unlike other times the food was plentiful; we even had leftovers for the next day. Our goal as hosts was to provide a warm wonderful Christmas for the walkers.
After dinner, Ned played Moondancer's acoustic guitar and we sang and danced. We did some Native American dances and some drumming. We also sang Christmas carols with Clayton playing his guitar. It was a time of joy, celebration and high spirits.
Each and every one of the walkers thanked us for making this such a special Christmas. I knew that they would be away from their families and traditions and wanted to make them feel comfortable and appreciated for all they are doing for the Earth. My husband got a small stocking and wrote the name of each walker on them. Inside he gave each a crystal and either candy or cigarettes. There was much appreciation for his efforts.
The people in the Cottonwood and Sedona areas have been very helpful. The Safeway and Smith's grocery stores were especially kind as was New Frontiers. Packages have been arriving at the Church all week. Some with food, some with clothing, some with money. The walkers thank each and everyone of you for your support.
|Looking out - the view from Mingus Mountain near Prescott, Arizona.
Yesterday, the walkers walked across Mingus Mountain. It is above 7,000 feet. I don't even like to be a passenger in a car on the road across the mountain. Many of them felt it was a big challenge for them personally, walking at a 90-degree angle. They then went on to Prescott the next day. Originally the plan was for Prescott to be the next camp but they have walked too far for that to be logical.
Tom's group was also in Cornville for Christmas. The two groups had some contact the first few days they were here. This was no accident, that Creator helped both groups to find their way to Cornville at Christmas time.
While Joe was here we showed him Sugarloaf Mountain, which is very near our house. We knew that this was an ancient burial ground and belongs to the Preservation Society. Joe was able to explain to us, the way the entire village must have been laid out many, many years ago. He pointed out the plaza where commerce was conducted, the area for the villages of homes and then showed us how our land was the Ceremonial Site. Our side door is directly across from the East Gate to the Ceremonial grounds. He quickly found the South and West gates. We were very honored to have been given this information. W
We now know that part of the Creator’s plan was to guide us here so that we could be here for the Sunbow 5 Walkers. That may sound strange to some of you, but if you knew me better, it wouldn't be. I am basically a city girl, who is now living on four acres in Cornville, a very small rural community.
After a conference call with Grandfather Commanda on Christmas day, Joe and Tom met privately and spoke for seven hours. Grandfather's wishes are that the group be reunited before entering California. This will happen in the near future. The group at our house is working on preparing themselves by looking within to welcome the reuniting of the groups. A general circle was held to hear the voice of the people on the walk. It was a powerful circle.
There are many things the walkers have little time for in their normal routine of moving camp everyday. They are on a spiritual walk and struggle with the tasks required of them. Thus, many took a day off to wash clothes and take a shower or just spend some time alone.
During the time the walkers have been here, I have had time to speak to each of them. I even know all of them by name. Each is a story unto themselves. It is amazing that they get along as well as they do. They have created a family with new people coming each day and others having to leave. In some ways they are insulated from the everyday world that many of us live in, but they are living in a world of challenge.
|Doongees (Little Barrel) - Julia Soto, wears a hat borrowed from Tim Burress. (author photo).
The first few evenings they shared many stories about the walk and things they had seen. The focus is to heal the Earth and live in peace. The goal, though difficult, is that these people learn to live together despite their differences in race, and background. It is a microcosm of the world.
The joy of the Walk is Julia, also known as Doongees. She is Ineke and Joe's daughter, 14 months old, and amazing. She attended the Sweat Lodge and all the circles. She is taken care of and loved by all. She does not really speak and uses no words, but she certainly gets her message across. I am now considered one of her Grandmothers and am most honored.
Today I had to go to work. When I came home the house was empty and quiet. I felt very sad. I think they are leaving in the morning. It will be very hard when they are no longer here. I feel that we have become part of the family and will continue to walk with them through the Internet. They made this Christmas very special and one we will never forget.
New people come each day. Some for a few days, some will stay to the end. The group here is about 43 people. It is anticipated that it will continue to grow as they head to California. Donations are still needed, but the walkers walk in faith knowing that Creator will provide.
The walk is not for any of us but for all of us, and is guided by Creator. The walkers do not have much further to go and they will reach California in January. It has been a journey for all.
In light, love, peace and harmony, Sandy and Moondancer
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 189 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire