This month a small band of women from the Ojibwe native nation is walking the land in prayer from the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca in the north, more than 1,200 miles in a south direction along the shore to the point where the great river spills into the sea at the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mississippi River Water Walkers sang the Water Song when they began their walk on March 1, 2013. By now they are many hundreds of miles further south, still in ceremony, still walking on to fulfill their vision.
When the Mississippi Water Walkers reach Memphis, Tennessee in a week or so, their north-to-south trail will intersect with the east-to-west trail of the Sunbow Prayer Walk, which was guided 2,500 miles across the land 20 years ago by Grandfather William Commanda, now in spirit.
The trails of these two pilgrim bands will intersect in space and across time, forming a Four Directions wheel anchored in prayer and ceremony on the land at the Memphis shore of the Mississippi.
The eight-month long, male-driven Sunbow Walk from the Atlantic to the Pacific crossed the Mississippi River from Tennessee to Arkansas on the ninety-eighth day of the journey (Sept. 28, 1995). They traveled then under the teachings of the Seventh Fire and the skysign of the Whirling Rainbow
The women who are the Mississippi River Walkers, now on foot in real time 2013, are approaching intersection with the Sunbow trail in Memphis.
You can friend the River Walkers and support them on their Facebook page, a page which is growing as the walkers make their way to the south, stopping at key points along the way to offer ceremonial blessings.
“We want the walk to be a prayer,” says Sharon Day, walk organizer, on their Facebook page. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water. The water has given us life and now, we will support the water.”