“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”
– Thomas Merton
Day 79 - Saturday, September 9, 1995 - While some of the walkers maintained the pace and the focus by walking on Route 64, and carrying the Sunbow eagle staff as far as Pulaski, Tennessee, others peeled off to join a local social and spiritual gathering.
The Raccoon Mountain Pow Wow near Charlotte, Tennessee was a hoot and a half for a delegation of about 10 Sunbow walkers.
"They treated us like VIPs," Joe Soto reported. "It was really something. They didn't know we were coming, but all the same they honored us, and made us feel so welcome."
Charlotte Kitchen was honored in particular with a song, and asked to give the opening prayer. She spoke in the Innu language. Joe made a public announcement about the walk. Later the host drum sang an honoring song for all of the Sunbow pilgrims, and several of the walkers danced.
"This was a real traditional pow wow," Joe observed, "and yet there were people there from many different cultures: all the local peoples and also Aztec, Polynesian, African, Lakota, Ojibway, Iroquois, and others. It was really something."
Pow wow dancer - A boy in full regalia dances at a pow wow.
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
Saturday night the walkers met with several traditional Cherokee elders in the area around Winchester, including Jim Reynolds and his family. The walkers were treated to a first-rate taste of Southern hospitality with a feast that included beans, corn bread, collard greens, yams, chicken, and jalapeno peppers. Later, all adjourned to ceremonial grounds to talk, and to offer a pipe. The Cherokee elders said they would continue to pray for the walk as the months go on.
After sizing up the calendar and the map, and estimating how many days of walking it would take to reach Memphis, the walkers have decided they have time to spare. They decided to postpone the walking for a couple of days and to move by vehicles to Nashville to meet with different groups and to teach. The pilgrims will depart for Nashville on Sunday in their motley assemblege of support vehicles.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 80 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire