Tag Archives: moccasin

Dirty Feet and Little Feet

It’s amazing how dirty feet can be after a sweat lodge.  I find it amusing that I cannot stand dirty fingernails but dirty feet during and after any ceremony are totally tolerable.  Amazing.

Such a boon!  An infant joined the communities lodge yesterday.  A sweet purely perfect 6 week old came in the door between first and second rounds.  He was passed from hand to hand around the circle, each of us offering our blessing to him.  All of us taking delight in the enormous gift of his presence.  His tiny toes were altogether clean.

I was guided to make baby moccasin on Christmas day.  What? OK, sure, I love to sew for tiny feet.  Surprisingly, what came up was not love.  I got a  little agitated and anxious about people having babies today, these times too awful.  Who’d want to bring a child in now?  Conscious or unconscious parents, my thoughts rambled on…. what must they be thinking?  Such judgment and fear welled up in me.

Ah… Medicine work is such a revealer and healer.

I noticed that my fear churned when I laid the pattern down.  This fear has lived in me for a while.  The judgment and questioning came as I cut the pieces from the hide – symbolic to me of how separate I was feeling from the Whole.  While praying and sewing the little pieces of red Deer hide back together, creating “Winter Girl” moccasin, I was reminded that we are all here by agreement.  These New Ones are coming in by choice.  And they have their reasons for coming in at this time.  They know what they are getting into.  This allayed my fears tremendously. I was then and am now, humbled and awed.   I bow to the unknown wisdom of the Soul’s path and the Mystery.  I stitched such gratitude and love now.  These little shoes – the lesson I received that Their enlightenment is my, our, gift and we need them now.  There is no escaping the Whole – I needed to be reminded.  I remember.

Mother and babe crawled out of the lodge, the door came down, we went on with our prayers.  Just now, I wondered about the fire tenders, did they too have their time with the baby?  Surely they must have.  I hope so.  Afterwards, still in our circle, I watched Mom. She was captivated, watching him asleep in the crook of her loving arm.  Looking at them with my heart-eyes and not the fear-mind, it was clear that the lesson I’d received that day allowed me to fully be present for the gift of their presence.

Joyfully (my usual way), I had sewed moccasin for this one too a few months before he was born.  Mom thinks he’ll be wearing them by the time we go into ceremony to dance the Night Turtle Dance this summer.  My heart was so full.  My feet needed a pumice stone.  🙂

Winter Baby MoccasinHappily and lovingly (truly) sewing baby moccasin.  They are filled with prayers of gratitude and joyful wonder at the remarkable mystery of it all.


Mitakuye Oyasin

All My Relations


I’ve thought a lot about thick-skin lately.  About having it.  About not having it.

Buffalo hide is very think, making for sturdy moccasin.  Some people who come to make their moccasin lament how difficult it can be to work with.  The tools aren’t adequate they allege.   Is it true the hide is too difficult to work with?  Is it true the tools aren’t sufficient for the job?  It can be quite humbling.  I know.  And many times I’ve been told I have strong hands.  I am able to cut, punch pilot holes and sew multiple layers of the thick hide.  Ultimately they do too.   It’s a matter of determination I think.

Life isn’t always easy, neither is medicine work.  Or the Red Road.   It requires something of me, of us – a determination, a will to step into the hard stuff, gutting it out.  Perseverance.

I’m not sure how many spiders live in my bathroom these days.  Long ago I made an agreement with them – they can have the top half of the room, I’ll take the bottom.  Lately it seems that more and more, we are meeting in the middle.  While they are taking liberties, I allow.  I am reminded of what Eleanor Roosevelt said, and I paraphrase, “…we teach people how to treat us….”.  I guess this goes for spiders too.  It takes thick-skin to be in relationship, to be in the world where it is seldom nice for long.  What am I allowing?  Where do I draw the line?  Pull back?  Retreat?  Internally my skin so thin it tears to shreds even though I wear the toughness of thick hide for the world to see.  How do I stand right in there, stake a claim and assert my will or idea of it?  Truly having thick-skin or at least the back of a duck for it (whatever) to roll off.

What does self-love need today (besides oatmeal with molasses)?What sweetness and salve do I apply to soothe the tears, to bring about the thickening of the scar tissue to become impervious to the harshness of life?  Life still goes on, clashes occur, children are starving, the land raped.  The delta between understanding and being understood can be so wide, too wide to cross.  800lb. gorilla are often in the room or swept under the carpet.  The scars of life and comforting balm of self-love makes me tougher while age will thin my skin.  Interesting how this happens if I allow for it.

It’s a practice and it’s process.  So too is crafting moccasin.  Step by step, stitch by stitch – no matter how thick the hide.  It gets easier.

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations

August 29 & 30 will be the next moccasin crafting workshop at Soul Proprietor.  Join in, test out the thickness of your skin.  And of course I am happy to sew for you.   A full listing of Summer 2015 workshop offerings can be found here.


The BC fires smoke has me feeling pinned here at the lake.  The sky is matte gray, slightly moist.  The water is flat save for the circles created by dragonflies touching the glass.  The trees that ring Echo Lake are still brilliant green against reflection and sky, yet I feel thirst.  The lake level is quickly receding.

Each day I bless the water.  This has been my practice since the past spring equinox.  There is only one Water.  It flows in all forms.  You. Me.  The big water – Grand Mother Ocean.  Rivers.  Snow.  Blessing the water is blessing myself, blessing us and our Mother. Our unique, as we know it , planet blesses us with fresh water.  Our home, our Mother, gives us life.  Water. Is. Life.

On my circle walks, I find the Timothy grass waving in the breeze, it is taller than I am now.  Some of the Bracken fern are too, a few out stretch the grasses. The look strong like their ancestors the beginning of time.  Why didn’t I pick those fiddleheads?  (missed opportunity) The orchard  grass is chest high, blooming, beautiful.  I find the Horsetail is petering out already, weeks early.  Out my kitchen window are giant fireweed, perhaps 12 feet tall.  They number fewer than a dozen of  plants.  How old I wonder?  It looks as though it will be a banner year for blackberries, the bushes laden with hard green berry buds.  But will it?   I’ve seen a lot of shriveled berries too, petrified ornaments among the withered canes.  Lack of water.  I think of the bears.  What is the high country like?  Down here it is parched.

I was very disappointed Inslee didn’t call for conservation measures NOW when he declared draught in Washington.  I am doing my best now to conserve.  Join me?

I think I was 16 when I had a vision of myself as an old women.  I was in the desert, wind chimes all around (ha!).  Will the patterns persist?  Is the desert coming to me?  What does the future hold for us?  The Polar Pioneer en route.  Bought and paid for politicians.  Stupid Humans.

“Every day brings more news that Shell’s 2012 near-catastrophes weren’t a fluke,” said Travis Nichols of Greenpeace, which organized protests while Polar Pioneer was berthed at Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle.

“Last week we learned Shell will only be able to drill one well at a time because they deliberately ignored the Obama administration’s regulations to protect walruses.  This week we learn the company can’t keep its fleet in working order even before it reaches the Arctic.” ~

Off my soapbox now but still banging the drum.  I’ve got moccasin patterns to sew, happily.  The blue full moon and ceremony is coming soon.  Wopila Grand Mother Turtle for your generosity!

A mother Northern Flicker is feeding her juvenile son at the suet now as I write.  It’s a good day to be alive.  A good day to be still, be silent, open to the countless gifts that surround me.   I’m breathing and finding balance.  Making an offering.   Over and out.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations