"Big changes are coming in this frame of time. That's why it's important to talk now and tell people to respect Mother Earth, and to stop destroying the water, air, and mountains. We must respect all the creations of the Creator, and stop making those kinds of technologies that affect the solar rays that come to us on Earth. True scientists must think of our children. Care for each other. Love each other without discrimination. That is my main message.
"We are in times of big changes for the Earth, big earthquakes and hurricanes, also big conflicts in politics and war. They (politicians) promise changes. But we know that at their big meetings, done in the name of making things better, they do not make changes that work. It's the same old thing. The people must make the changes themselves."
- Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez
Day 80 - Sunday, September 10, 1995 - After waking up and fixing breakfast, the walkers broke camp at Monteagle, Tennessee and moved by vehicle to the back yard of Sherry Noser's daughter, Kelly, in Nashville. Despite being extraordinarily busy completing her Ph.D. studies at Vanderbilt University, Kelly graciously welcomed the walkers.
Within the confines of the suburban backyard, the 35-plus walkers set up a small city of tents, hoping for the best. There is only one bathroom with one shower at Kelly Noser's home, so a bathroom traffic jam—no laughing matter—seems inevitable. Because this is a crowded suburban neighborhood, the walkers will do their best to be quiet and considerate of the neighbors. The neighbors themselves, have proved gracious, and many are preparing dishes to feed everyone at a pot-luck supper.
According to Tom, the plan is for the walk to stay in Nashville for several days, doing some short, local prayer walks, visiting some sacred sites, and and looking for opportunities to meet and talk with local people.
The walkers will feel at home in the musical atmosphere of Nashville, for there are many talented musicians among our group. Dave Reid, who has been with the walk since Washington, D.C., has his guitar with him, and he often plays and sings, alone or with other walkers.
Dave has experienced Tom's tirades on a number of occasions, but he appears to have a gift for letting the verbal and emotional steam roll off his back. He seems unhooked by Tom's huffing and puffing, and the general bickering that often ensues. He just breathes and, apparently, shrugs it all away.
Tom has raged, and asked Dave to leave the walk a number of times, just as he has challenged VaLaine, Ned, Gaston, Charles, and others to leave. Gaston and Charles are both gone now, as are several others who have sized up the leadership dynamics, and decided not to get away from Tom's anger. The main body of walkers is sticking it out, striving for balance.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden