HEARING THE CALL
For months I have been feeling this strong call to travel the country. I have traversed this continent a few times in the past, but only because I was moving, or going to a new school, or getting stuff out of storage. I always had an endpoint, and usually a deadline. This is different. This feels spiritually guided. There will be many way stations, but not an official destination. This journey, I know, will be a pilgrimage.
- Immerse myself in nature. I will do this because a) It is restorative to my soul, and b) Nature needs us to appreciate, love, and respect her. As a species, we’ve abused the natural world so terribly. But I believe every single thing–every creature, every person, every tree, every body of water responds favorably to love and gratitude.
- Visit the sacred sites. In America? Oh yes! Think: the ancient groves or redwood trees, places sacred to Native Americans, ancient pyramid and other earthen mounds (about which we learned nothing in school!), sacred mountains, buttes, and canyons, Buddhist stupas, Catholic shrines, etc. There are holy places everywhere once we start to look!
- Offer prayers and healing rituals at the wounded places. Sadly, in addition to places of great beauty, there are places which hold great pain and sorrow. There are way too many sites where native people were massacred, where African Americans were lynched, where people were or are held in detention centers, internment camps or prisons. When I find these places, I will honor the people who lived and died there. I will send prayers for the spirits of the land. And I will do what I can to bring a sense of peace to the souls there.
- Visit friends, give talks and workshops, and facilitate healing rituals. This work and this adventure is meant to be shared. I would welcome opportunities to do that.
- WRITE THE BOOK Because I am a writer, I will feel compelled to document my experiences, my lessons, and the flashes of inspiration and insight that are sure to come as I settle into a slower pace. I plan to write one chapter a week. The resulting book will probably be called An American Pilgrimage.
GENERAL ROUTE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND BACK
The general path I’m being guided to take at this point is:
- Up the western coastline, through Oregon, to the San Juan Islands of Washington. (August into September)
- East to Montana. (South Dakota will either be on the first half of the journey or the second. This is not yet clear.)
- South to New Mexico.
- East to Georgia (by late November or early December.)
- South to Florida.
- North through the Carolinas and Virginias. (February into March.)
- Maryland, PA, and NJ. (April, May)
- New York, Massachusetts, Vermont. (June)
- West to Ohio and through Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, etc. (July)
- Continue west. Ultimate destination: unknown! To be discovered!
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR THE FIRST 2-3 WEEKS
I plan to begin my journey in August. If I don’t have enough money for the whole trip, I will go on the first leg of it. Here is my tentative schedule for the first part of my pilgrimage:
Day 1. Travel west along the Klamath River of northern California, through the lands of the Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa, and Tolowa peoples. Destination: Eureka on the western coast. Intentions: Spend time with new friends (whom I “just happened” to meet in the Black Bear Diner in Mount Shasta), commune with the great ocean (Oh, how I miss the ocean!!) and send prayers and blessings to her, do a healing ritual to honor those native people who suffered terribly in the Wiyot massacre of 1860.
Day 4. Travel to the great redwoods of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Intention: Spend one or two days simply walking through and sitting with the energy of these ancient sacred trees.
Day 6. Travel to Brookings, Oregon. Intention: Spend a few days reveling in the beauty of this coastal town. Again and always, offer prayers for the health of the ocean and all marine life.
Day 9. Travel to Bandon, Oregon. Intention: Greet the natural and ancestral spirits of the land. Offer prayers and do a healing ritual for those who died in the brutal Nasomah massacre of 1854.
Day 13. Travel to Yachats, Oregon. Intention: Visit Thor’s Well. Hopefully visit with dear friends (and former employer) from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, my hometown.
Day 16. Visit Seal Rock, Oregon.
Day 18. Travel east to Scio, Oregon. Intention: Visit Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary, the largest farm animal rescue organization in Oregon. Spend a lot of time with the animals. Learn about the sanctuary’s mission.
SCHEDULED TALKS (thus far)
Nov. 11, 2018 The Celebration, Santa Fe, NM 10:30 a.m. http://www.thecelebration.org/
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
- Feel free to recommend places to visit or people to see along this general route.
- If you or a friend would like to host me for a talk or potluck at your home (or civic group or place of worship), I would welcome the opportunity. The talk can be geared toward the interest of the group. The themes could be environmental, spiritual, historic, a recounting of adventures past and anticipated, or a combination thereof. The talk could be informal, with slides and/or lots of discussion, or it could be a formal talk in a church or synagogue, for instance. I would also be happy to lead a workshop or a community healing ritual. I would be most happy to give interviews.
- Send a link to my website to your friends and acquaintances. Help keep the pilgrimage going! All donors will get weekly updates along with photos. You can accompany me vicariously!
- Interview me for your local paper, newsletter, or nonprofit group. I would love to share my vision and experiences!
YOU CAN HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN! I am a person of modest means with a very big vision. I would be so very grateful your support. I plan to do this regardless, but financial support would help make it less stressful. Any donor of $33 or more will receive an early draft of the first two chapters of my book (almost ready!) You can also opt in to receive weekly updates and photos! So please make sure I have your email address. Checks and letters would be gratefully received at the following address and then forwarded:
Cynthia Greb, 404 N. Mount Shasta Blvd. #354, Mount Shasta, CA 96067 (Make sure to include your email and/or other contact info so that I can send you updates!)
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for supporting me in this venture as I (and you, through me) explore the sacred places, the wounded places, the varied peoples, animals, and landscapes of our beautiful country.
May we live in peace.
So be it.