Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, October, 12, 2009: Indigenous People’s Day (previously known as Columbus Day)

It is the morning of the 3rd day of the walk. It is amazing how strong and committed this community of practice is…last night everyone was exhausted…blistered feet…aches and pains in parts of the body that folks had forgotten. But, this morning after a good night’s rest everyone is re-energized. These days are long and so much packed into them. It is hard to even begin to recall the highlights, let alone every detail. The first day offered tremendous views of the landscape. Many of us talked about how we were glad to hear Brad Lepper’s talk on the day we began because few of us knew what an interesting place this location is on a geographical level. Walking where on each side were carved by different sorts of glacial activity and walking the landscape this is very noticeable…something that I’m sure we would miss by car.

Our first night was really cold and damp and no one slept very well. We awoke to a good frost. We were on the road by 10 am on Sunday. We begin each day with a group circle…we offer our prayers, songs, and strength to each other. On Sunday we were blessed to have the staffs of the Miami Valley Indian Council with us. They were used during our opening ceremonies. But, they were not able to walk, so yesterday morning the group went out and built a staff so the Walk with the Ancients now has its own staff! I’ll try to get pictures to post. So we had this for our opening circle on Sunday morning and it helps keep everyone strong.

On Saturday we had a program at the Masonic lodge in Kingston. The women of the Eastern Star made an awesome dinner—turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and on and on. Thanks for the dinner. Afterwards we sang some songs and then Vinny Stanzione talked and showed us some film footage about pilgrimages in Guatemala. Its amazing to see/hear the similarities—the arduous journey, personal commitment, music, and offerings.

Last night we had dinner at the Lutheran Church in Amanda…another great meal! We were running late, very late. No matter how well we might try to plan things…a pilgrimage is outside of time and there is just no rushing it! We had a campfire back at our campsite at Cross Mounds and talked about the mounds, the milky way, and various interpretations. We finished the evening by singing around the campfire until around 11:30.

On of the greatest parts of the whole thing has been the way various communities have responded to us. Everyone has been really great. People stop us to ask what we are doing. Its wonderful.

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