Welcome to Vilcabamba
The last of the runners to be dropped of before Vilcabamba was Cristian Ojeda, our partner on Finca Sagrada. We arrived at the entrance gate to Vilcabamba at 2 pm but the community greeting was arranged for 4 pm, so we had a dilemma. While we had a phone tree organized and Facebook postings, it wasn’t going to work to change the time. Luckily, the runners saved the day. They said it was fine with them to just wait until everybody turned up.
Cristian arriving with the Condor Staff
As arranged, the Vilca community, the horses covered in flowers, the car float, the musicians and pedestrians all arrived around four. The runners brought out more staffs, one for each runner and after lots of photos and a blessing to the seven directions, we created a long line and snaked our way to the square. It is only about 500 meters but it was difficult to keep running. The official runners run 10 kilometers every day but we were struggling with half a kilometer.
We made it to the Square in the rain as the musicians played in a powerful welcoming and celebration. We gathered in a circle, in front of the church and, in good indigenous tradition, everybody was thanked. We even had a costumed condor and eagle do a beautiful dance to music with everybody clapping and singing. Even the thirty odd staffs were introduced with all their histories of where they came from and what they represented. (They had been contributed from tribes across South American when the Journey was first organized.)
For me, the entry into the Square was very emotional. The runners have dedicated six months of their lives to thanking Pachamama by participating in the Journey. They often sleep in tents and are given simple food. The whole six months is dependent on the generosity of local communities that they pass through.
I think an act of courage made by a group of people makes a huge difference to Earth. For me spiritually, if I imagine turning inside out, then Earth becomes a chalice full of etheric colors like the rainbow colors, etheric weaving made up of human emotions that are sustenance for the spiritual world. The Earth has so much turmoil and suffering…but also love and joy. I imagine the runners stretching a necklace between Alaska and Argentina. This necklace is an etheric weaving of colors in motion. It’s a necklace of love and courage that has swirling beads of joy and thankfulness wherever communities share in thankfulness with the runners.
Thus for me, seeing people blessing Earth through ceremony that the runners bring was inspiring. In ways, it was a simple act of faith, yet profound in our gratitude and promise to Pachamama. Truly a gift to all Earth…and to all Spirit.