Mother's Memory

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The Story

Mother Earth guards her “stories”, tucked and folded, washed and veiled, beneath and above ~ precious secrets from the first Words Creator spoke, to the moments we now share in our village gatherings.

To study the “old ways” is sometimes a seductive force, enticing those who would search to plunder for profit the treasures long protected as sacred, the heart beat of the Spirit That Moves In All Things.

The trail of greed is well worn. It is an angry scar, a weeping wound, the absence of beauty, poisoned with thorns that hurt and infect.

But those who journey with honor, with respect, who choose to celebrate the wisdom and truth of our family history, leave a gentle path. Soft breezes, changing shadows, quiet prayer, and the gift of a heart open to receive precious secrets, create the fertile ground of learning and sharing, the time that takes your breath away with the explosion, the vision of what Mother Earth has saved especially for you.

This basket was conceived in a dream. She began on solid ground, firm at the burl base, anchored with her deep root strength, embraced with branches rich and strong, of the Alaska yellow cedar. Coils of needles from the Proud Ponderosa shape the body, row upon row secured with stitches of waxed linen, colors chosen to blend sky and water ~ forces that cradle Mother Earth.

Tiny droplets of amethyst tell of my tears, the sadness of my mother’s passing. But the vessel begins to swell with the memories, the lessons taught, the joy and love shared. The natural shape of the burl creates a firm birth canal and the growing basket body is strong to hold the history, the stories, the secrets. She begins to shape “protection”, the walls are designed to capture all that is sacred and invite closer only those with hands, mind, and heart who are in the circle of understanding.

The energy explodes, cascading through and over the narrow canal designed for birth. Gems of the earth erupt with their strength to add definition to the basket, born from a dream:

  • Lapis brings wisdom and creativity.
  • Turquoise shares health and well-being.
  • Amethyst bursts with mental clarity, courage, and love.

Each gathering of gems is blessed beyond richness with the special heart beat rhythm of three tiny, golden beads ~ the bridge to friendship, family, and culture. The beads were a gift, in a soft, satin pouch ~ placed in my hands by the daughter of the highly skilled and respected maker of fine moccasins, Florence Helgesen. Opal, please accept my humble “thank you” for your trust in sharing the legacy of your mother’s precious beads ~ it has truly been an honor to be your weaving student, your friend, a part of your “Jada” circle.

Be Blessed –
In Ponderosa Country -
Judy Arledge