|The Sweat Lodge|
|Sunday, 21 September 2003 16:00|
I knew nothing about a Sweat Lodge other than it was a native, spiritual "thing" that I wanted to be a part of. I had spoken to Rosanne about the possibility of building one on the five-acre lot that we had severed from the property that we were selling. I figured that way Rosanne could continue to use it whenever she wanted even when I was gone.
We decided that we would build it together and Rosanne would conduct the first sweat on October 10, just before Thanksgiving and on a full moon. We went out with Rob and Rick and found a perfect spot to build the lodge, sheltered from the road, yet easy to get at with a natural wall around the area where we would put the fire-pit. Rick and Rob helped us to cut down small poplars that would be used for the main structure and Rick cleared an area of the sumac that was growing in abundance. We tied the saplings together with moose hide laces and covered the structure with an old winter cover from the pool. Then we proceeded to line it with an assortment of old blankets that we had collected for the job. We covered the floor with pieces of old carpet and we built a fire pit to heat the "grandfathers" in. Over the next couple of weeks, Rosanne would often come out and work away at the lodge with and without me.
One day we went down the road and collected dozens of large boulders to help secure the plastic tarp in place. Rosanne worked her magic with a large needle and thread and every blanket fit in perfectly. She built a rack to store wood in and chopped up small pieces of wood for our fire. It was a sight to behold and it even passed the test when we had some nasty weather and it remained intact. The sweat lodge was ready for our first ceremony and we were very proud of it.
This is a picture I borrowed from Google Images to show you what a sweat lodge looks like. Rosanne's sweat lodge was very similar.