Smudging and Walking

smudging or just before

There aren’t any pictures, really. That’s because we don’t want to disturb or disrespect what we’re doing by recording it. Just about every morning, before we start walking, Rick Kotowich, a Métis/First Nation walker, smudges our group and we reflect on what we’re thankful for and what we hope for, give thanks for the land and the people we meet. A few times, local ranchers or farmers happen by to see us just as we’re about to begin, and it’s been interesting: every one has been interested in joining in. The elements of the smudge, sage and sweetgrass, reflect the country we’re walking through (besides buckbrush, there’s been lots of sage growing wild). We remember ourselves and the land we’re walking through with the smudge. And in this dry year, we are fastidious about making sure everything is done safely.

tree against stormcloud

quotes of the day (yesterday) from a local rancher, looking out over the horizon as he talked to us: “awful nice country…until the farmers found it.” Or from Fred, one of the walkers, looking at his tent: “my mess is changing, which I’m taking as a sign of hope”.

4 thoughts on “Smudging and Walking

  1. I *so* appreciate the chance to walk virtually with you all however momentarily: clearly you are deep-walking. Your posts and photographs make me think of the early pilgrim itineraria, esp Egeri’s who shares with her sisters at home the people and land and liturgies she encounters! What I am really tripping on is the skies. They present visions that would require a poet like Emily Dickinson to even begin to touch it. I share here some big-sky ED here with you, perhaps to share again with your fellow-pilgrims if the time to do so emerges.

    To pile like Thunder to its close
    ~ Emily Dickinson

    To pile like Thunder to its close
    Then crumble grand away
    While Everything created hid
    This — would be Poetry —
    Or Love — the two coeval come —
    We both and neither prove —
    Experience either and consume —
    For None see God and live —

    (J1247, Fr1353, loose sheets)

    Buen Camino!

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