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).

Nii Maamaa la Tayr

In the days before institutions and brick buildings, our people lived in ways that were interconnected with the land, the natural world and our relatives.  As Métis people we remain the children of two peoples, unique in nature and the world, with the responsibility to care for both.  Today we are fully immersed in a new way of life, but it doesn’t have to mean disconnection.

The first step to re-connection with nii maamaa la tayr is gratitude.  We identify the earth as mother because everything that we need to survive comes from her.  Consider all that your body needs in a single day and the way in which it is provided for you.  In our world the water comes through pipes, the food in packages and the warmth at the touch of a button.  But each of these things finds its life in Nii maamaa la tayr.

In fact, we may be interconnected today in ways our peoples could not ever have imagined.  The cloth for our clothes is woven in India, the fruit we eat – grown in South America and the technology that sustains us – created in China.  Yet we allow ourselves the luxury of thinking that our money negates the need for gratitude and the distance between us widens.

Think through the gratitude necessary to thank each life taken for your benefit, the backs bent to create for your pleasure.  Imagine the plants, animals and other organisms that work to live and then are sacrificed so that you may survive.  Then think through the people that have come together to create the things that you use every day. 

In the time before institutions and brick buildings, we lived in relationship, connected to the life and aware of the sacrifices.  When we value all life we move towards interconnectedness, which by necessity is a life of humble gratitude.

Photo by Julia Zolotova 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.

Every Child Matters

As the world explodes around us in a frenzy of beautiful colours and vibrant greens, we begin to feel the pull of spring.  The new life and activity can sometimes feel too bright and too cheerful.  In fact, spring can be overwhelming and heavy when we are locked in the pain of the past and facing the continued loss of life and community.

Several days ago, the bodies of 215 children were found in Tk’emlúps on the grounds of an old residential school.  The community outcry by Indigenous folx still rings in my ears.  In the time when we were connected, we would have filled the space with ceremony and celebrations of life, but in those times, this could not even have been imagined.

In our Métis communities we have many ways to bring honour to those that journey on.  In my family it is custom to come together.  We share stories and laughter, leaning into our relationships with one another to celebrate our lives and theirs.  We also mourn, filling the silence with tears and loss, lamenting a future where we must walk different roads.  In all of these ways, our ceremonies hold us.  They provide us the space and the comfort of knowing what has come before and what will come next.

These are not my children, and this is not my community and yet they are, and it is.  These are my relatives and while I cannot be with them, the absence of ceremony feels wrong.

And I am reminded that the land is ceremony. 

Today I will walk and listen, walk and watch. 

The birds will bring me their songs, the ground will fill my heart with new life and I will remember.

Please find your own way to join me in respect for these 215 souls who walked a such short and difficult path.

Maarsii

Tracy

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.

Pishkaymitook (Caring) 2021

Let your kindness flood the world

As the Frog moon reaches it’s fullest expression and the rains continue to fall, I am reminded of the Pishkaymitook (caring) lessons.  The full moon has long been a reminder to women that we have community.  Whether you simply take five minutes to yourself or engage in a complete full moon ritual, grandmother moon gathers and reflects feminine energy.  As I watch the world unfold under a gentle rain, I remeber that the Pishkaymitook lessons are not limited to caring for oneself.

It is our Métis way to look out for each other, we learn from an early age to watch and listen so that we may know where we are needed.  Pishkaymitook cannot be separated from the other values like love and respect but is an active word.  There is an expectation that Pishkaymitook is an energetic expression of those concepts.  Like the young person who brings tea or ensures that everyone has some where to sit, we fill in the spaces for each other.

Our relatives also engage in caring for one another.  I have seen a horse gather cattle on her own accord when she smelled a big cat and a wild dog shelter kittens in the cold.  My favourite plant story is the one about the three sisters: corn, beans and squash.  While the corn grows tall to provide purchase for the beans, the squash spreads out on the ground keeping the soil damp for their roots.  This story reminds us that our plant relatives care for each other and work together to be the best versions of themselves.

In all of these examples, Pishkaymitook is an active expression of energy that is intended to benefit a living thing, both inside and outside oneself.

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.

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...

©copyright 2019 Lavertyonline