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To Live Forever Tour Stop: Bear Creek Mound

bear creek mound, natchez trace

On April 8, 2012, I posted this story. One of the seeds that grew to become To Live Forever.

I walked around Bear Creek Mound on an early Spring day.

And, I heard someone scream.

**********

Thirteen. Luck caused the chief’s eye to fall on me, a snippet of a girl. Twelve when he raised me to join his band of wives. One revolution around the Great Sun, and he is gone.

And, so shall I be.

Gone.

The throngs have already gathered, feasting on the raised temple mound. Flames dance from the ends of wooden sticks, stuck in the soft earth along the raised edge. The wind from the river blows smoke into my lungs, powdery mist from the pyre that will consume me.

The elders will come for me. I have minutes, perhaps. As the youngest wife of the dead chief, I have the pleasure of being last in line, the final wife to join him in the afterlife. The screams of the others rise above the festive sounds wafting from the mound. One by one they die.

We die.

Strangled.

On a single bier, they will carry our lifeless bodies to the center of the mound. Together, we will be gathered in the chief’s house. A flinty strike will consume us, and the waves of smoke will bear us from our sacred mound through a portal to the afterlife.

They’re coming for me now. I wonder? Will anyone stand on this mound a thousand years from now and think of me? Hear my dying breath exhale through the black tunnel of time?

**********

If you look closely, you might see a child on top of Bear Creek Mound. A child much like Emmaline.

bear creek mound, natchez trace

 

Click here to see the best photos from Day 27 of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

Think you’ve shared the Journey to Charleston Contest enough to WIN?? You’ve still got more than 2 weeks, so keep entering!! Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. The more you enter, the better your chance to WIN. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet.

Dad wants you to read this book. Seriously. The force of his will has been enough to sell boxes of them to poor souls all over three states. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

Today’s Reader Question. The one where we play footsie.

51 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ouch! both for you and for the young bride. Although I’m familiar with East Indians sending brides with their husbands I wasn’t aware that American Indians practiced that as well. Which tribe is the mound attributed to?

    March 28, 2014
    • This mound is Mississippian, pre-dating the Chickasaws that came later.

      March 28, 2014
  2. Really interesting.

    March 28, 2014
  3. I love the snickery smile after you show us your feet. That’s gonna keep me grinning all day.

    March 28, 2014
    • We had to have a tour de foot on this trek, didn’t we?

      March 28, 2014
  4. Beautiful post!
    And thanks for the video tour of your feet. Wow! They’re like soldiers in a battle–wounded by still walking.

    March 28, 2014
    • I sometimes wonder if they will ever look the same, Linda. But I’m sure they will eventually.

      March 28, 2014
  5. Haunting – can’t see ghost the child bride, except in my mind’s eye, but still haunting.

    March 28, 2014
    • There was a child playing on top of the mound in the photograph. He blends into the trees.

      March 28, 2014
      • Oh, duh! 🙂 oh well, my bad old eyes didn’t see him either!

        March 29, 2014
  6. oh Andra…please pamper those feet the second you hit mile marker 444…

    March 28, 2014
    • I’ve lollygagged and fear I have missed the window for a good spa appointment in Nashville, but we’ll see tomorrow.

      March 28, 2014
  7. I tried staring at the mound, but couldn’t bear to after a while. 😀

    Get it? Get it?! Bear! Ahahahahahaha…

    *sigh*

    March 28, 2014
  8. Redneck Garage #

    Andra,

    If your intent was to provide a shock first thing in the morning with your latest YouTube clip, it worked. I opened WordPress and at the top of the reader was your grinning face with a cheap hotel room picture and headboard as a back drop. Bates Motel by chance?

    Patrick

    March 28, 2014
    • It wasn’t the lap of luxury, but it was a good place, and the owners were really, really great. Not at all Bates Motel.

      March 28, 2014
      • Redneck Garage #

        Nice people can make all the difference in the world.

        March 28, 2014
  9. Katie had the right word, “haunting.” This story will haunt me forever. As will your feet 🙂

    March 28, 2014
  10. Grossssssss!!!

    March 28, 2014
  11. The joy of victory, the agony of de-feet. Sorry. Commence groaning.

    March 28, 2014
    • It’s mostly the agony at the moment. Round two of soaking commences shortly……with your book.

      March 28, 2014
  12. Shivers! For your story, the mound and of course…your feet!

    March 28, 2014
  13. Oh dear – I applaud you even more for continuing your walk. My feet hurt just looking at your video.

    March 28, 2014
    • I felt pretty proud today when a strapping man told my dad that he started to walk the Trace and gave up good and quick. 🙂

      March 28, 2014
  14. Owowowow!
    Don’t humans have absurd customs – to this day. And, some of them as cruel.

    March 28, 2014
    • I’ve never understood the human sacrifice custom, but I know it’s been pretty widely practiced throughout history.

      March 28, 2014
  15. Oh, aren’t you glad you asked, Pamela? (And by the way, my sis and I just realized a few days ago that you’re practically a neighbor…:) ).

    I, too, was unaware of the practice of sending the wives to the hereafter along with the chief; who then was responsible to care for their children? Another story?

    March 28, 2014
    • I didn’t research things that far. Perhaps another story.

      March 28, 2014
  16. Oh man, Andra! No one can ever accuse you of not being dedicated to your craft! WOW! If this were me, I would rent a Segway for the rest of the miles on the Trace!! 😦

    March 28, 2014
    • But I have so few miles to go at this point, Maria. I may as well walk them.

      March 28, 2014
      • I suppose you are right, but those poor feet! Mine hurt looking at yours.

        March 29, 2014
  17. sad and scary. and i’m talking about the story as well as your feet. stayed up late and finished the book last night. loved it, and review coming later )

    March 28, 2014
    • Thanks for reading it, Beth. It won’t haunt you like my feet might……..

      March 28, 2014
  18. Your “bloody bits” made me snort. Am I supposed to laugh at that? Well, I did.

    March 28, 2014
  19. Debbie #

    It just looked at the radar……I can see why your taking a day of rest tomorrow! Relax!

    March 28, 2014
  20. Oh! Your poor feet!

    March 28, 2014
  21. OUCH!

    When you get back to Charleston, here’s a restaurant worthy of a celebration:
    http://www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com/cypress.asp?catID=20434

    March 28, 2014
  22. Lance #

    I admire your sense of humor and little to no ego. It makes your blog great.

    March 28, 2014
  23. “The thrill of victory… and the agony of de-feet!” Indeed. Ouch. I bet you’ll scream like in that story when you’re on a real vacation with MTM someday and you’re in some diner or wherever having breakfast and some local suggests you walk a mile or two to see the sights. Your feet will scream too and kick you from under the table…

    March 29, 2014
  24. Sharon #

    I loved your book, couldn’t put it down, read it in two days. Found out about it from my dear friend Penny O. I hope you sell many books. Its a page turner for sure.

    March 29, 2014
  25. Your story gave me shivers when I read it the first time, and again this time. I can only imagine that you are sensing those same spirits as you travel your 444-miles. Your poor feet give me me shivers, too. Or would that be shudders! Oh my dear!

    March 29, 2014

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