(also being celebrated as International Day of Peace)
Submitted by Sandy Dinwiddie
An hour east of Wichita, Kansas lies the scenic terrain of rolling hills covered in swaying prairie grass called the Flint Hills. Nestled in a peaceful valley you'll find "Walk in Peace Ranch". It's owner and visionary is Lonetta Lollar, a beautiful sprite of a spirit. She has reserved 38 acres of the 200 acre ranch for the Peace Garden which is located atop two hills across the road from the lodge. Lonetta began creating this Peace Garden a little over a year ago which included an amazing Labyrinth, the Starhenge, and The Spirit Stones. Nestled between the Spirit Stones and the Starhenge was an open piece of land that Lonetta thought would remain open. Last November she met Marshall "Golden Eagle" Jack and learned about Water Wheels and the ceremonies involved with honoring our water sources locally and globally. I met Lonetta at the same event and we remained in contact. When she learned that I had started to work with the waters and had created a Water Wheel in my backyard, she asked me if I would come to Walk in Peace Ranch and perform the ceremony so that we would create another Water Wheel for the planet.
Water Wheel located next to the Spirit Stones Circle
Seven women came together on this bright, hot, cloudless day that radiated energy. I gathered the women inside the cool lodge, before going up to the hill, so that I could tell them why we were doing this ceremony. I shared the stories that Marshall tells of how the elders of his Paiute tribe would be gone for weeks in the spring. When he asked his grandmother where they had gone she told him that they were in the mountains performing ceremony for the waters to keep them healthy and remembering their crystalline form through prayers, offerings, crystals, and speaking with all of nature. The generation before Marshall lost their connections to their culture and healing ways so the ceremonies stopped when the old ones could no longer make the walk into the mountains. The people started to see disease in the pine trees for the first time. They also saw boils on the rabbits and deer. No one was continuing the ceremonies to honor and give gratitude to the water and all that found life through this source were getting sick. Some years ago, Marshall accepted the challenge to restart ceremonies from his visions of what was needed at this time. Through these Water Wheels and through working with the local water sources and their tributaries he has traveled greatly performing ceremonies and teaching others along the way how to bring the honoring and healing of our local and global waters back. As we do this, we are taking up the journey of reconnecting ourselves with the Blood of Mother Earth, our most valuable element on the planet.
We were blessed to have Sharon, a native, Alaskan Aleut, drum maker and performer with us that weekend. She graciously agreed to drum on Lonetta's council drum throughout the ceremony. I had explained to the women how important it was to connect with Spirit, the wheel, the water, and with each other through our heart's coherence. We would be dancing in opposite directions for twelve cycles until the energy was sufficient to create the vortex necessary to bring down the energy from the galactic realms and anchor it into the center of the wheel in the crystal altar. If I felt that the energy was waning I would ask them to pick it up.
The women were terrific and did their best with joy in their hearts. But a time came when I sensed the waning energy and I pointed this out to everyone and asked that they "kick it up". Sharon instantaneously changed the beating of the drum as she applied both of the drum sticks with such energy and love. Everyone immediately was re-energized and the dancing took on new vigor and passion. It was palpable. As we continued to dance and sing and pray, I quietly asked Spirit to give me a sign and let me know when we had accomplished our goal and it would be okay to stop. After a few minutes, I saw a white butterfly fly from west to east, followed quickly by a yellow butterfly along the same path. In only moments, a grasshopper jumped into the center of the circle, then a dragonfly flew by, next a silver looking object, that I can't identify, drifted overhead the span of the Water Wheel and the Spirit Stones from south to north. Beyond the Spirit Stone Circle were 4 buzzards circling over the distant fields. As I watched them they kept approaching until they were circling overhead. Lastly, a small, single, engine plane flew extremely low toward us from south to north. As it got closer we waved and the pilot dipped his wings in response, came around and circled overhead before flying away. I thanked Spirit for the signs and for the energy that was sent for the ceremony and told them, "got it!"