“We all need to come together and to respect one another. And yet I feel the pain. I feel the hurt that our traditional elders suffered because of development on our land, because of strip mining. The uranium is killing my people. The children are being born deformed. Ripping up our Mother Earth. They say coal is her liver, uranium is her guts…there are many broken rainbows.”
- Grace Smith Yellowhammer, Dine'
Day 167 – Wednesday, December 6, 1995 – I heard nothing from the walkers today. I assume they are continuing to walk along the road toward their base camp, now in Window Rock, Arizona. While the walkers were silent, Emily Philips of Albuquerque, New Mexico sent a message.
E-mail subject: Idealizing the walk
When Grandfather Commanda collapsed the other evening (Nov. 26), I could see what a toll the humanness of us all takes on a spiritual leader. This is nothing I do not know from other experiences.
What I am getting to here is that the walkers are only human, and there were as many agendas as people moving across the continent all along.
Idealizing an event will destroy its true power as fast as taking potshots at it. Tom has his part to play and how it ultimately works out in life is up to Tom. He needs our support and prayers. Sometimes it is possible to become so devoted to an aspect of a thing we love tremendously that we cannot visualize it fitting into a whole, larger pattern not of our making.
Frankly, I never saw the walkers themselves in any light but as a group of humans setting out to accomplish a certain goal, a spiritual mission performed by 'just us folks.'
It was the collective energy devoted to the vision which inspired the walk in the first place that kept my interest alive. If you think about human history—brief as it is—for long you must observe that it takes an awful lot of us little two-footed ants to get much done!
From Napoleon to the workers who built the Sphinx, everybody has their good and bad sides, but what matters is what they do with their spirits. That lives on, forever. Even the Prophets of God have called out in protest of the awful things that happened to them. And yet look what they have accomplished, continue to accomplish. God does not test anybody beyond his/her power to endure, but still we fail just because we *think* we can't do it.
So whatever the pride we take in the fact that the walkers went through a severe experience and triumphed, whatever disappointment we feel in some of the actions we heard about -- what of it! All of our sincere, pure efforts are what make the difference.
- Emily Philips
|Pilgrims for the Earth - The Sunbow 5 Walkers, eagle staffs in hand, walk on toward Humquaq, the Western Gate.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 168 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire