May 28, 2008

Longest Walk = moving prayer

Native Americans walk the talk across AmericaOverall, the Long Walkers have found an abundance of grace and generosity from the communities we passed through, from the ceremonies and meals of the Miwok in Shingle Springs, Calif., to the efforts to save the sacred places by the Paiute, Shoshone and Washo in Nevada. The Longest Walk was showered with hospitality by Navajos and townspeople in southern Utah, the staff at the Salt Lake Walk In Center, community members in Denver, staff at the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, Colo., and all across Kansas. At the School of Natural Order in Baker, Nev., there was regeneration, and in the heart of Utah, in the towns of Scipio, Richfield and Green River, we felt the solace of generous spirits. The Kickapoo in Kansas offered a place for a five-day rest.

It was in Greensburg, Kan., that another dimension of the West opened up to the group--the force of a tornado to rip apart a town. Debris was still piled high nearly one year after the tornado struck on May 4, 2007. Still, there was hope and abundant love in this town as the people were rebuilding “green,” focusing on solar and wind power.

As the walk across America nears its end, it does so as a movable prayer. As Jimbo Simmons, a Choctaw, put it, “The act of walking brings back into focus the traditional knowledge that’s been locked away for generations.”

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