August 5, 2009. Los Angeles, California
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Sky and I are at the airport in L.A., waiting for our flight back to Palm coast and the crew…we are shell-shocked after a whirwind visit home. We got in at midnight 4 days ago, and from early the following morning till now was a non-stop chedule of meetings, interviews, fundraising, meeting with members of our Advisory Board, and trying to squeeze in some time for our folks. Tonight, we came to the airport straight from the premiere of a play in Hollywood that was being generously put on to raise funds for our voyage, and we were interviewed by FOX News-exciting! It was amazing to be home in L.A. and feel the support of our home turf under us.
I think for both myself and Sky, the highlight of our trip home was our visit to the Wishtoyo Foundation’s Chumash Villiage, a working Native American villiage on a four-acre historical site at Nicholas Canyon Country Beach in Malibu. Founder Mati Waiya is a Chumash ceremonial leader who has re-built a village of aps (Chumash word for the dome-shaped dwellings in the village) and a Sacred Fire. He is also a powerful, powerful speaker.
Sky and I went with our mom and dad, and we had no idea what to expect. One of our supporters had told Mati about us, and Mati had invited us to come to the Wishtoyo to visit the village and to have a blessing said upon our voyage. The Chumash were a maritime people who thrived on the sea, plying the waters between the California Mainland and the Channel Islands in their long canoes (or tomols); in fact I once came across and arrowhead on Santa Cruz Island that was made of a type of stone not found on the island, or anywhere on the nearest part of the mainland either. Since we were born, Sky and I grew walking in the Santa Monica Mountains and plying the waters off Southern California. Everyday, we lived and breather the sage and dry grasses of the Santa Monica Mountains and smelled the salt of the deep swells rolling in across the great waters of the Pacific. Whenever we sat on the mountaintops of by the streams of our young mountain range (still growing!), or kayaked along with the gray whales making their annual migrations along the coast, we never felt that the experiences we were having we new–rather we felt like we were playing a role in a long continuum of people stretching back over 8,000 years of continuous human occupation of our land. I missed the smell of the chapparral every day of my seven years in Ireland, and I miss it every day I have been away from it in Florida. Sky and I are deepy tied to our homeland and sea.
In particular, the Chumas hold sacred the dolphin, A’LUL’QUOY. The Chumas believe that their ancestors came to the mainland over a rainbow bridge from Santa Cruz Island, but that they were told by the Grandmother Goddess Hutash not to look down as they crossed. Halfway accross the bridge, some of the Chumash looked down and became frightened and dizzy and fell toward the sea. Hutash, not wanting her people to be harmed, transformed them into dolphins as they hit the water.
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