Monday, October 11, 2010

Day Two - Ceremonies and Loading Vegetables

The first day began at dawn. Volunteers gathered at the edge of the lake just outside Winslow to greet the dawn just as the Navajo elders do. It is a quiet time. You can hear the beavers swimming in the lake. Often a heron will take flight. As the sun rises the group reflects on why they are there and takes in the spiritual nature of the dawn. I recently saw a video that described Navajo prayers at dawn. It is beautiful... enjoy!

We then gathered at the Flying J and had a breakfast meeting at Denny's. We went over Food Run etiquette, how we would load vehicles at Wal Mart and enjoyed each other's company. Then it was loading time. I now have a carload of potatos for the Big Mountain Food Run. My hope is that it doesn't get very hot out as I wouldn't want to transport a load of baked potatos to the elders.

Our afternoon was free. We began a fast that would end with our evening ceremony. It was a time of reflection and of anticipation. I chose to drive up to the Hopi Mesas. We pass through on our way to the Big Mountain Food Run and, since we are in a convoy, don't stop to look around. I enjoyed the day there visiting some jewelry stores, hiking up a few boulders and driving to see what there was in Keams Canyon. I want to come back and bring some friends so scouted out the distances between Second Mesa, First Mesa and Keams Canyon.

The day ended with a beautiful ceremony and a dinner provided by a Navajo family. We had delicious Navajo Tacos topped off with carrot cake. We shared our inspirational stories and realized, once again, that reaching out a hand of friendship to the traditional Navajo elders is more meaningful than we could ever realize.

Tomorrow we head out to Sanders. It is a small food run, but we always receive a warm welcome. Last season, we were gifted with "Somebody in Sanders Loves You" t-shirts. I will proudly wear mine tomorrow.