Sacred Water, Precious Water

by Pam Montgomery

 "Whitewater" Photo courtesy of Lori Bellis

"Whitewater" Photo courtesy of Lori Bellis

As I drifted in and out of sleep in the early morning hours a steady tinkling entered my consciousness followed by a memory of moist leaves, bare feet and water rushing. I slowly entered the waking world and heard the undeniable sound of dripping outside my bedroom window – RAIN – ah, the blessed sound of water falling from the sky. I lay there listening, letting the water fall from my eyes allowing myself to drop into a state of deep gratitude and the grace that comes from a prayer being answered. The rains have returned, at least for today, with the blessings that come with them – water in the spring and stream, water to nourish the plants, water for the animals and water for the people. It has been over two months since there was a soaking rain that raises the water table so the springs flow abundantly and the stream finds its way to Otter Creek which then feeds Lake Champlain. This summer has found us often without enough water to do daily chores relying on the still trickling steam to wash dishes, vegetables and splash our faces.

Just yesterday I hiked Marble Mountain in search of the water which until now has been ever present. To my delight the water was still flowing in both the small and big waterfalls. I felt the blessing of this and gave thanks sending out a prayer for the water to come again from the sky to replenish the groundwater and this vital stream that is the life blood of Sweetwater Sanctuary. This summer has been another season of waking up and stepping out of my complacent amnesia realizing how powerful the forces of nature are and how totally dependent we are on their abilities to sustain life. Water is something we take for granted in Vermont until there is too much or not enough, both of which we have experienced within one year’s time.

Rivers of Life

My heart is opening to the enormous gift of water and its vital place on this living Gaia. Of all the water on this planet 97% is in the oceans, 2% is ice and less than 1% is fresh water available for drinking, agriculture and industrial use. That 1% is being polluted, threatened by salination and being pumped out of the ground and rivers faster than it is being replenished. Global water usage will increase 40% while it is projected we will approach nearly 50% of the planet in severe drought by 2020 including the western United States, India, China, West Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Rivers of Life

We must change our habits and the way we view water as a commodity instead of the precious life-giving gift that it is. Water is finite. We are drinking ancient water that has been here since the beginning. As we pollute our waterways and underground aquifers more and more of this ancient water cannot continue to replenish Gaia but instead contributes to her demise.

Each morning as we take our first sip of water let’s bring our awareness to this liquid of life, ask oneself where it has come from, how are we keeping it clean, free flowing and fresh and what can we do to preserve the waters of the world. 

 

The following are excellent water resources: 
The Blue Plant Project     www.blueplanetproject.net
Circle of Blue   www.circleofblue.org
The Groundwater Foundation   www.groundwater.org

 


Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me

by Mary Oliver

Rivers of Life

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment.
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.