In September 2016, Earth Walks traveled to the spectacular Canyon de Chelly with 12 participants. It was a deeply memorable time, which included camping in the canyon under a blanket of stars, Dine (Navajo) friend and guide Daniel Staley playing his beautiful flute music to the echoes of the notes and his ancestors and a day of service on the family farm of Kathryn Pemala.
Our canyon campsite was on Daniel’s grandparents’ land where he maintains a fruit orchard and a traditional hogan.
One magical evening found us around the campfire with Daniel playing his flute and singing traditional Dine chants in his native language. One participant had just acquired her first drum and she sent it around the group, asking each person to add their own drum beat, song or words to empower it for future drumming. The group spent a day of solitude near the powerful Spider Rock. That evening the group participated in a traditional sweat lodge. Our final day in the canyon was spent in a service activity on the family farm of Kathryn Pemala, long time weaver, who has lived her entire life in the canyon. As she weaves, she hears the voices and stories of her ancestors which are woven into the fabric of her work.
Dine (Navajo) weaver
The group help harvest corn and plums, pulled weeds and enjoyed conversation with Kathryn and family members. It was all too soon that we had to leave.
Helping Harvest Corn
One of our participants, Sallie Bingham, is a writer and published author. Her blog on the journey is well worth the reading. You can view it at: https://salliebingham.com/the-beauty-way/#comments
Earth Walks plans to return to the canyon in the fall of 2017. We will also travel to Chaco Canyon, NM http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/353 in late May. This coming spring, we will be based at Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez Springs, NM http://www.bmzc.org/ helping with an organic farm in Jemez Pueblo http://www.jemezpueblo.com/ as well as making traditional flutes with Pueblo resident Marlon Magdalena http://www.aluaki.com/
If you would like to join us on these or other journeys or create a special Earth Walks for yourself, family, friends or business please be in touch. Meanwhile, Happy Trails and may we all Walk in Beauty!
Earth Walks Director Doug Conwell