"I've been walkin' in my sleep
Countin' troubles 'stead of countin' sheep..
"...Now I find myself on the moutainside
Where the rivers change direction
Across the Great Divide
- Nanci Griffith
Day 164 – Sunday, December 3, 1995 – Traveling far ahead of the walk by car, Joe, Inecke, Ned, Charlotte, Yvette, Serge, Stanley, and Doongees all drove off to Window Rock, Arizona to meet with a group of Navajo elders. They want to let the elders know that our prayer walk is coming.
Our delegation was well received.
of the Dineh Alliance presented us with an eagle staff, and instructed us to carry it as we walked across the broad expanses of the Navajo reservation in New Mexico and Arizona.
The eagle staff immediately identifies us as pilgrims on a spiritual mission.
The eagle staff is a symbol of reverence for all life. As we carry the staff, it signifies that we are reaching to do our best to carry a spiritual message, and it also symbolizes the spiritual helpers who have always helped the human beings.
Just in beholding the beauty and power of an array of eagle feathers, people are often touched, and reminded of spiritual qualities such as vision, vigor, swiftness, dignity, and benevolence. The elders mention that it is good to think of these things, and to try to live such qualities out in our own lives.
To be entrusted with this Eagle Staff ensures that our Sunbow walk wiill have respect, support, and protection as we journey through Navajo land on our way west.
Today the main party of walkers on the road crossed the Great Divide The pilgrims came to the divide just west of Thoreau, New Mexico as they stode along I-40. They put down tobacco in this place of crossing energy paths, and they offered up prayers and songs that goodness might flow out in all four direction.
The Great Divide
The Great Divide, or Continental Divide, is a ridge of mountains in North America which separates the major watersheds. On one side the waters flows west; on the other side the water flows east.
Up until now every step our walk has taken has been against the easterly flow. But as of today, crossing the Great Divide, we will be walking west with the general flow. This change in energy flow is something the walkers regard as a blessing.
The Great Divide is oftentimes thought of as the “backbone” of Turtle Island (North America). To cross it in a respectful manner while on a sacred mission is an honor.
The divide begins in the north at at the sea in Alaska. It runs south across Canada and the western United States, tracing the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The divide then continues south through Mexico and Central America following the crest of the Sierra Madre Occidental.
The divide in the land stretches onward into South America, where it follows the peaks of the Andes Mountains for the whole of the continent to the southern extremities of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
|On the road - The Sunbow 5 pilgrims walk in beauty with wide vistas as they head west through the Land of Enchantment. Photo by Paul Hitz courtesty of flckr.com
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 165 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire