La Leun Calendar

Welcome to a new (old) perspective.  This calendar prioritizes the lunar phases over our more common calendar, while keeping enough of the common understandings to keep you grounded.  The Moons are from a prairie Cree understanding and the teachings from my Métis/Michif teachers.  The calendar begins with the new Spring Moon, which is where it feels natural for some of the first peoples of Turtle Island (North America).

Tomorrows Heroes

As we near the end of Hunters moon, still moving through difficult and unsettled times, my ancestors draw my attention to our central value of Pishkaymitook.  This concept has at its core the nurturing of others. To care for those in our community is not an act of benevolence but one of self preservation.  You would not consider it prudent to abandon your arm or leg if it became injured because it is part of you.  In the same way, each of us carries knowledge, skills and abilities that are not found in others and our value to the community is immeasurable.

The world ebbs and flows with the seasons and in the times where we shift from ebb to flow the whole universe can feel tenuous and unpredictable.  Reaching out to those around us allows us to anchor together, providing stability in the chaos.  These times once past, will become the stories of our children, the villains emerging from the loss and the heroes built through every small act of Pishkaymitook.

Photo by Jeremy Hynes on Unsplash 

This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.

Each Life

Grief is a powerful and overwhelming emotion. Those who have left us often represent a substantial portion of our lives and deserve to be remembered. And the remembering brings wave after wave of devastating loss until we wonder if we too will be lost. Within that cycle you learn to breathe in the tiny little spaces between, gasping for air when you can get it.

In recent months thousands of graves have been uncovered at various former residential schools across Western Canada. As more and more Nations raise the money to access the technology needed, it is expected that more will be uncovered and the numbers are already staggering. The collective awareness in this country rose in direct proportion to the numbers of unmarked graves found, until the horror became overwhelming and people began to turn away.

Canada has formally recognized a new statutory holiday known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to be recognized on September 30th each year. This day fulfills the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s call to action #80 and will serve as a day of remembrance and reflection. In fact, thousands of Canadians have found ways to honour these lives lost, and hundreds of thousands more, simply watch or scroll past. The history, numbers and pain more than they can bear.

It may be time that we learned to breathe together, to share the loss, to honour the children and to heal. This is not an easy path, but there have been others. In 2016 Gord Downie published a story and an album, his response to hearing the story of Chanie Wenjak, a 12 year old boy who died trying to escape residential school in the dead of winter. Gord Downie has also since passed after a long battle of his own leaving behind him a lifetime of music and faint footprints leading the way.

It may not be possible to personally honour every child lost to the horror of residential schools. It is possible to honour one. One precious child torn from the arms of a loving family. One devastated family waiting …

You can find Gord Downies “The Secret Path” Here.

This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.

We Are This Land

Bathed in the light of the full Hunter’s moon I can feel the enormity of my responsibilities to this land.  My grandmothers’ people have lived their lives on these prairies for hundreds of generations.  This soil has held their sweat, their tears, their blood and their bodies in the ultimate cycle of nurturing.  

My grandfathers came only four hundred years ago, a drop in the temporal pool of turtle island, one by one from the Scottish isles with barely more than their hope and their hearts.  And then they too shared their blood sweat and bodies, building a community and a future for our people.

The relatives that share this land with us have also done so for a millennia.  The plants, animals and birds that support us now are the descendants of the ones that supported my grandmothers and grandfathers.  Each sacrifice acknowledged with tobacco and eternal respect.  We have moved together in cycles of reciprocity, giving and taking when we needed, always aware of the delicate balance.

When I am called to welcome others to this place, it is with the deepest sense of responsibility that I do so.  Each footstep falls on the back of an ancestor, each promise impacts the lives of relatives. 

This land has not just nurtured my family, it holds them and it is them.  The paths we walk, the plants we sow, and the medicines that I am gifted, grow from the heart of my people and my relatives. 

Gratitude is all that remains.

Photo by Oxana Lyashenko on Unsplash 

Take what you need

The work on this page is my passion, and where I borrow, I give thanks.  Borrow what you need, share as often as you can, but let my name travel with my words so that the voice remains authentic.

This season, we have seen our world, our mother, take a long awaited and much needed deep breath of her own.  The birds sing louder, the four leggeds roam more freely and the scent of warming cedar has the space to reach our noses.

I am filled with gratitude for all that each of you has sacrificed to bring in this spring and cannot wait to learn a new way to be together that allows the world its continued breath.

Tracy

Some people are just ready...

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