"Light is returning,
Even though this is the darkest hour:
No one can hold back the dawn.
"Let's keep it burning,
Let's keep the light of hope alive:
Make safe our journey through the storm."
- Charlie Murphy
Day 186 - Monday, December 25, 1995 - The Sunbow 5 Walk for the Earth spent Christmas Day at the home of Moondancer and Sandy Ezrine in Cottonwood, Arizona. Along with the feast, the walkers kicked up their heels with lots of singing and dancing, and joking. Scott Kecken reports that for him it was the best Christmas ever.
|Christmas Sunbow - Gathering around the Christmas tree at Sandy Ezrine's home in Cornville, Arizona, the pilgrims mug for the camera.
Joe, who along with Ned has taken on a leadership role for the walk in the absence of Tom, sent out a Christmas message via e-mail.
E-mail Subject: Christmas Gifts
Hello Brothers and Sisters, Our International Family. We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.
We recently had a very special gift given to us by Creator. We had two Grandmothers and one Grandfather from Big Mountain, Arizona come to be with us and share with us.
They prayed with us and for us, spent the night at our camp, and did some more sharing while others walked or sweated with Sundancers from Big Mountain.
Joseph Soto (author photo)
I can't say that we are walking in a good way because of ego, but I can say that good things are happening. Today we had friends from Sedona and Flagstaff come to visit -- maybe 15-20 people altogether. I want to thank Creator for these needed gifts of love and kindness because it has been a very long walk. We have learned that we need not wear any masks, and that we can let the love within fill the cup of life, and give the spirit strength.
On this day, I again ask my Brothers and Sisters of the world that if you are listening, to pray with us today at 4:00 PM (Mountain Time) as we will be having a conference call with William Commanda, Tom, Charlie, and Jim Duncan and his family.
Tom has not returned to us since Albuquerque, but walks outside the circle. He came and visited with us for a short time yesterday, and tried to cancel this phone conference.
Tom has been welcomed back to the circle, and when William asked the Sunbow 5 Walkers to forgive and love, they did. The circle remains strong, and the blessings have been many. We believe that Tom is going through a healing, but as with all human beings, one has to hit bottom so that there can be a new emergence. We hope that Tom can come back and walk softly with us.
- Joe Soto
My good buddy Ross Jennings, who lives just a few miles up the road, called me at my New Hampshire home to wish me a Merry Christmas. Ross knows I am setting off west to re-join the walk in two days, and he wanted to connect before my departure.
As is often the case when we talk, our attention soon turned to matters philosophical – specifically philosophy and the Christmas Festival.
Ross has immersed himself thoughtfully in the tradition over many years. He said that, as he sees it, the birth of the child named Emmanuel, who at age 30 was annointed with the Christ light, signaled a crucial turning point in human spiritual development.
As we talked on the phone, Ross pointed out that, after Emmanuel (Jesus) had embodied the Christ spirit later in life, he proclaimed to everyone: ‘You are the light of the world…the works that I do, you also shall do: and greater than these shall you do," (John 14:12).
Over the centuries some men and women and churches have placed the individual personality of Jesus upon a pedestal, as if he were somehow superhuman, and they have tended to bypass that part of his message, Ross said, the part where Jesus is reminding us that he is a human being like us, and that we can express the same fullness of spirit that he did in his life.
In Ross' view, this is a time in history when all of us are being asked not only to listen to that overlooked part of the Christ message, but also to respond — not with miracles necessarily, but with living respect for -- and expression of -- the spark of divinity in all things, including ourselves.
What we can celebrate at Christmas is not so much the birth of one man, as Western culture now emphasizes, but rather the potential that his birth symbolizes: the potential for each human being to fully realize the light within.
Alexander Shaia, author of "Beyond the Biography of Jesus," points out that the word "Christmas" is shorthand for "Christ's Mass." Shaia notes that the term does not refer to a specific Christian ritual, but rather to the Latin term for mass, missa: meaning literally, "to be sent." Thus, one reading of the phrase "Merry Christmas, is "Send forth the Christ with a joyous heart."
Ross and I talk for nearly an hour, ranging from topics philosophical to mundane. As twilight approached on Cristmas day, he bid me farewell on my journey to be part of the final 40 days of the Sunbow 5 pilgrimage for the Earth under the sign of the Whirling Rainbow.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 187 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire