Water is Life“I feel our nation’s turning away from love as intensely as I felt love’s abandonment in my girlhood. Turning away we risk moving into a wilderness of spirit so intense we may never find our way home again. I write of love to bear witness both to the danger in this movement, and to call for a return to love.” ~Bell Hooks, All About Love
Our compost has hit the fan! Our country’s fear and anger, our generational diseases of racism, sexism, and white supremacy have come out into the light and are challenging us to answer the question of who we are as Americans and as human beings. Our collective consumption and destruction of our Mother Earth is bearing down on us and asking us to reevaluate our priorities in the interest of future generations. Do we choose the accumulation of material wealth, power, money, and control, or do we choose love, community, compassion, and healing?
The Water Protectors who joined together along the shores of the Cannonball River in North Dakota made their priorities clear for all to see, inspiring others around the world to stand beside them in solidarity. Just as the Water Protectors here in Michigan, who have worked on behalf of the water and the people in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Flint, northern Michigan, and throughout the Great Lakes, continue to fight to protect our most sacred resource.
Native American traditions teach us that water is sacred, that it is our original medicine, and that we human beings must take care of it as a physical and spiritual gift. Science tells us that water makes up two-thirds of our bodies, as well as that same proportion of the earth, and that we cannot create new water. Indeed, the wisdom of our Indigenous ancestors is backed up by science in urging us to protect the water.
Yet we as a society continue to abuse water with toxins and pollutants from our farms, factories, power plants, and pipelines. We now bottle and sell water for profit. We deny clean and safe drinking water to the poor and communities of color. What we do to the water, we very literally do to ourselves and each other.
So how do we return to a place of love for one another, for our earth, and for the water? How do we listen to the wisdom of Native people and learn to understand that we are all related?
I am committed to continuing to do my part to turn the compost in myself as well as in our society; to transform the fear into courage, the anger into compassion, and the greed into generosity. We need to work together to turn this mess around and create the fertilizer for new growth. I pray that the music born in my heart may be part of this great turning, this collective awakening and transformation, and that my actions may spring forth from a place of compassion and love.
May our voices join together and bring us towards a vision of wholeness. Let us return to the love that our ancestors have given us and pass it along to future generations. Let us return to the love that lives in our hearts, to the love that we have for our Mother Earth, and for the water that gives us all life.