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A Day of Discovery

August 16, 2010

Today we took our granddaughter just 15 miles from here to a place we had heard about by word of mouth and read about in the local paper, a hand-built commemorative stone wall built by Mr. Tom Hendrix over a period of 35 years, stone by stone, to memorialize his Native American great-great grandmother, who walked back to her home in Alabama from Oklahoma after her family’s forced relocation during the Indian Removal. The stones come from every state in the US and many countries around the world. To learn more about this incredible story, click on this link.

The wall is not a tourist attraction, but Mr. Hendrix is somewhere around the grounds every day, and is available and eager to tell his story to those who visit. Since it’s on his home property in the woods, down a small side road, you have to know where you’re going. There’s no real parking available, so we pulled off the road beside a corn field and walked the rest of the way to his place.

We spent about an hour with Mr. Hendrix and his three dogs Molly, Pavarotti, and Clancy, all rescued pit bulls and the sweetest, gentlest dogs you’d ever want to meet.

The stones emanate an energy that’s difficult to describe. They create a peacefulness just being there. It’s a natural meditative space.  There are many stone benches for contemplation, and many Native American ceremonies have been held there. The spot is visited by spiritual seekers from around the world.

Here are some of my pictures from today.

Fossilized coral

Facing a section of wall

My granddaughter in the music circle

I would have wanted to stay longer, but we had to get back. One day I’d like to go and just sit for a while, and maybe even do some sketching or painting.

On the way we saw four wild turkeys and three tiny deer crossed the road in front of us. It was a serendipitous day.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherrill Pearson permalink
    August 16, 2010 11:49 pm

    Hi Martha,

    What a facinating post. I love all things Native American – or Canadian: Aboriginal. I have read only this year, about the removal of NA’s across the country to the west and found it heartbreaking.

    But, this is wonderful story of this man and I will read more about it. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

    • August 17, 2010 11:48 am

      Sherrill, I wish you could have seen the passion in his eyes as he told the story of his great-great grandmother. He wanted to keep her memory alive, and has succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination.

  2. Peggy Sutton permalink
    August 17, 2010 9:39 am

    I enjoyed reading this and viewing the pictures of your adventure. What a great find! Sharing this with your grand daughter makes the day even more special. The area looks like a wonderful place to sit and think taking in nature. I can see you painting there. Wonderful Story

    • August 17, 2010 11:48 am

      Peggy, it’s a magical place. You all would enjoy it. I’m thinking Eli would be old enough to really love the story.

  3. Mary Fran Banks permalink
    August 17, 2010 2:31 pm

    Martha, absolutely love this. . . . I read it to Mike; he said he had read something about this spot in a magazine or paper. . . . not sure; we both are interested in Native American things; remember he flintknaps and I have tried to capture some things on canvas and gourds; it sounds like such a great “studio” for a day of creativity; I would love to see the place; maybe we can come one day on the same day. . . . . perhaps when it gets a little cooler . . . .it truly sounded like a special day . . . .my youngest granddaughter would like this place I feel and she is a budding young artist along with all of her other activities. . . Love ya!

  4. Joli Ridens permalink
    August 17, 2010 6:59 pm

    Martha, I can’t think of anything more inspirational than nature with story. I know your paintings will be evocative of time, history, and remembrance. I hope I get to see them and “the wall” itself.

  5. August 17, 2010 9:31 pm

    I am grateful that you have shared this sacred ground dedicated to an inspirational indigenous woman of Power. I am so looking forward to mentoring my young painter for her opening next Friday. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  6. Sandra permalink
    August 17, 2010 9:37 pm

    Martha, I just so appreciate your wonderful posts, and the way that you generously share special things in your life with your wider circle of friends. It was a very serendipitous day for me when I found your blog.

    • August 18, 2010 10:59 am

      Thank you so much, Sandra. I was talking with my granddaughter yesterday about not always having art to talk about. She said she loves it when I talk about life.

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