"Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life."
- don Miguel Ruiz
Day 122 - Sunday, October 22, 1995 - Grandfather Commanda went right to bed after last night's fund-raiser at the Norman Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. He needed a deep night of rest.
He says his knee is better after all the healing he has received since falling last Sunday. He is walking without the cane that he has used for the last couple of years. Just now, he said, he doesn't need or want the cane. But he does want rest.
|While Tom Dostou stands and speaks to the circle (l), Grandfather William Commanda (r) sits and listens. Author photo, 1995.
While Grandfather checked in to his motel room for some sleep, the rest of the walkers drove off late that night to the Seminole Stomp Dance in Spaulding, Oklahoma.
The Stomp Dance is an all-night ceremony, requiring will, organization focus, stamina, and a healing intention.
Around their ankles the women wear shackles fashioned from bells and turtle shells that sing in rhythm with the dancers' movements.
This regalia symbolizes the time decades ago when the Seminole people were shackled as slaves in lines with sisters and brothers of the black nations. Hobbled together, the red and the black people prayed together as they shuffled and stomped together to get from place to place.
The men wear feathered hats and dance in a heavy-footed way round the outside of the circle.
The women are in the circle, dancing at double-time. The drum beats, the chants rise, the dance goes stomping round all night long and the energy is palpable.
The much-tested, westward-striving band of pilgrims arrived at Seminole stomp dance just after midnight. They stayed until sunrise. Consequently, they were late mobilizing to get the out on the road walking for the day.
When the Sunbow walkers finally arrived at their marker along I-40 to the west of Okemah, they encountered some old acquaintances.
At the exact same mile marker, ready to start their steps for the day, stood the four Rainbow Walkers: Alycia, Clayton, VaLaine and Sherry.
"In the middle of nowhere," as Scott Kecken put it, "our two walks magically converged again for a moment." The two groups exchanged hugs and warm greetings, and then went their separate ways.
|Rose-hued rays of dawn stretch across the sky behind them. The walkers stride -- prayers in mind and drums singing -- over the plains heading toward the Western Gate of Turtle Island.
According to Alycia Longriver, all four Rainbow Walkers are fine, with good health and hgh morale. She said they are walking strong, and remembering their prayers.
"We are holding the vision," Alycia said. "No one who knows of the walk should lose sight of the vision. People are starting walks and pilgrimages all over the world now. We are all being directed toward something. We need to keep on."
For all of the walkers out on the road in Oklahoma—Sunbow, Rainbow, and otherwise—the wind presented a formidable challenge. It whipped along all day at nearly 40 mph—ripping out of the west and coming straight on fierce into their faces, chests and legs.
Copyright 22006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 123 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire