Monday, February 21, 2011

Another Cycle Complete

I have recently realized that I have been blogging about this MooseBoots journey for a bit over a year.  The reminder was this itching little feeling in my whole being ... it is time ... time ... time to tap!  Last year, we tapped a bit earlier.  It was an early season.  We hope this one is better.  I must admit though that we did have enough syrup for the year ... even with our little backyard rig.  This year may be better ... I should have a bit more time to boil things with the job change.
So, how have I grown?  Where do I need to focus to continue this growth?  I leave it to you to reflect on the details.  I am trying to live in this moment on this path.  I find myself growing in incredible ways and along the way I find reminders, way points really, that I am moving in the right direction.  Sometimes, these can be merely a calm "knowing".  Sometimes, they are a reassuring passage in a book by an author I respect.  For instance, I just completed "The Vision", by Tom Brown.  While reading the last few pages of the book, I found myself shaking my head vigorously in agreement.

Where am I going?  Perhaps, the best way to tell you is to show you my plan.  Of course, plans have a way of being modified.  Here is the stack of books on my desk to be read, or re-read.

Book of Nature Myths for Children Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki No Word for Time: The Way of the Algonquin People The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology  Nature's Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance with the Earth Deerskins Into Buckskins: How To Tan With Natural Materials, a Field Guide for Hunters and Gatherers Tom Brown's Field Guide to Living with the Earth Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Compass) Secrets of the Talking Jaguar A Year In The Maine Woods

These books, coupled with spirit guides, have become my elders, my teachers.  While I have native ancestry, from both the Midwest plains Indians and, in all likelihood, more local tribes, I do not have contact and was not raised in these traditions.  In spite of this, I am always surprised to find how closely my beliefs parallel those in native cultures.  And with all this, I agonize at the pace of learning, but know that it is as it should be.  At some point, I hope to expand out and work with actual elders, but for now I do as I must.  Perhaps, I will have to opportunity to work more closely with the folks at the Maine Primitive Skills School.

I intend to continue working with our nature group(s).  I have been pondering for some time that there must be some basic skill set that allows one to live with the Earth for extended periods.  This was confirmed for me when I ran across this video.

This simple project uses several skills (coal burning, cordage making, carving) combined to achieve a goal.  That sounds exactly like I was thinking.  So, what are these skills?  I am working on it.  I reviewed Tom Brown's description of going into an extended survival situation in the back of Tom Brown's Field Guide to Living with the Earth.  I started making a list of the tasks.  Then, I will break those down into skills.

I will continue learning to braintan.  I still have hides left in various states of completion that need to be finished.  These have been salted and stored.  Of course, I have already put out there the desire for more hides to work in the fall, including moose hides.  I also need to finish my series of posts on braintanning.  Perhaps, it will expand into using the leather as well.

In addition, I will continue working in all of the other things.  I will be continuing on to a more advance Shamanic Apprenticeship this fall.  We hope to expand our foraging efforts.  I need to work on integrating our herbal remedies into our daily life ... we were all recently sick and it completely slipped my mind to gather white pine tea to help combat the flu.  It appears that the knowledge is there, but the wisdom to use it could use some work.  We will be re-starting our hive this Spring.  We will continue brewing, perhaps even a bit more of the maple stuff.  We are working on learning to make soap, tallow candles, and incense.

As you can probably see, there is a lot to do, much to learn, and a lot of growing to do in this next year.  I  find myself so fulfilled on this journey.  I am doing what needs to be done and am much happier for it.  Wendy and I have created many good things in our life together, her book, Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs, our amazing children, our growing wisdom, and, perhaps, a small change for the better in the world.  Thank you, friends, for sharing in my growth.


  1. There always more to learn, but at least your vessel is fuller than mine Deus, Oh and thanks for sharing your journey my man.

  2. Murphyfish, yes, more to learn. Perhaps, our vessels are equally full, just of different stuff. I often wonder just how big is the vessel that needs filling? You are quite welcome for the sharing. Thank you for accompanying me.


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