This desert-dweller was blessed to have recently had two days at the shore, reveling in the sights, sounds, and smells of the sea.
I cannot imagine what it is like for those who have never experienced the ocean. There is something so powerful in standing on the beach and gazing out at the horizon knowing that the waters continue unabated for thousands and thousands of miles. It is an immense watery world which many of us experience only by looking at, walking through, or swimming in at the very edges. Others have never even gotten that close.
It amazes me that on this beautiful blue watery planet we inhabit, less than 3% of the water is freshwater. It further boggles my mind that even knowing how precious water is, how essential to life, we continue to use it rapaciously and, even worse, dump toxins into it repeatedly. Very few of us can claim never to have polluted water. How many of us have used products like Comet to clean our sinks or used non-biodegradable detergents in our washing machines? How many of us have used weedkillers on our lawns which then wash into local streams with the first rain?
In addition to our personal lifestyle choices, we also have to claim some responsibility for the corporate pollution of our lands, rivers, and oceans. Uppermost among these corporate evils is the widespread use of hydrofracturing (fracking) in obtaining natural gas. One shale gas well can use millions of gallons of water. And that water is then no longer usable for human or animal consumption as it has been in contact with scores of extremely toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Surely this is a folly of immense and catastrophic proportions.
There are prophecies among the native people of America. They speak of the time when the waters will be befouled and life on Earth will reach a crisis point. At that time, humankind will have two choices: the road of materialism or the path of respect, wisdom, and spirituality. If we choose the former, life on Earth will perish. If we choose the latter, we will come into an era of enlightenment and harmony.
We must remember that Water is sacred. It must be cherished. We must remember to bless every bit of rain that falls, every drop of water that flows, every ounce of water that pools beneath the surface of the Earth.
We can honor and fight for our water in both physical and spiritual ways. Here are a few suggestions:
1. We can fight to stop fracking and any other blatant disrespect and misuse of our potable water through any number of activist tactics – calls and letters, boycotts, civil disobedience. Remember when we passed the Clean Water and the Safe Drinking Water Acts in the ‘70’s? We can certainly achieve a similar success story if we pool our energies and make it a priority. (Thus far, these laws are not being used to regulate fracking. As a matter of fact, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 explicitly excludes the injection of toxic agents for hydrofracturing purposes.)
2. We can bless water whenever and wherever we see it a la Dr. Masaru Emoto. He demonstrated the effect love and gratitude and other positive emotions can have on the molecular structure of water. We can employ this on a vaster scale and on a regular basis. It can be a part of our spiritual practice.
3. In Celtic lands, I have observed flowers placed upon the waters of sacred springs. This is a beautiful honoring and show of appreciation for the water which blesses the community. In ancient times, it was customary to offer gold, silver, and other offerings of precious metal to the waters. Here is one site which speaks of reverence for holy wells and sacred springs. http://www.invisibletemple.com/water02.html
As I write this, fires are raging in New Mexico and rain is desperately needed there and elsewhere on the planet. Let us pray for, bless, thank, and celebrate Water wherever we find it, whenever we drink it. Thank you, thank you, for the most precious gift of Water.
And here, for your listening pleasure, is a gorgeous song celebrating rain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PisBYGGtmgI