Friday, November 5, 2010

Quill #98 - Brown Family Tradition

Every child in my family, back through my father's line for generations, has had their feet dipped in the waters of a particular spring. I believe that this was a tradition begun by my Osage great-great-grandmother. This tradition has been carried forward, even to my grandson and daughter-in-law.

It's a very serious tradition. The child has to be bare-footed, and must stand in the spring if they are old enough to stand, even though the rocks are sharp beneath their feet and the water is very cold. My parents made me promise to carry on the tradition with my children, which I did. And, I made my children promise, as well.

Because the spring, like most natural springs these days, is a fragile site, I won't say where it is. I don't know if my brothers have kept this tradition, though I hope they have. Our family has roots in that area of the country in addition to the spring.

(images from Dover's free images online)


  1. I would like to hear more -- how did you feel when you did this?

  2. I was taken there three times by my parents, once when I was too young to stand by myself and they held my hands to dip my feet. The second time, I was around four and I remember mainly how cold the water was and how sharp the rocks. I complained a little, but grew used to the cold and they had to pull me out before I wanted to leave. That was my middle brother's first time.

    The third time was with my youngest brother, and I was old enough to walk around and help him. So, I'm guessing the optimum age was around age 2, since that seems to be about the age they took each of us. I don't think it was a hard and fast rule, though.

    Getting Kyrie in the water was much harder, but that's her story. ;-)