Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ēostre/Vernal Equinox - Joyful Vows for Water

Walk between the raindrops by Donald Fagen

The River of Dreams by Billy Joel

CAYA is focusing on the element of water this year. I have decided to go along for the rafting ride by using their themes for my wheel celebrations.

Last Friday, S and I were standing on the porch after book club.  It had just started to rain softly.  I took a breath in and smiled.  The rain had finely changed its wintery scent.  I looked over at S and said:  “Smell, spring is here.  The rain has changed.”  We moved out from under the porch and into the rain, both breathing in its earthy fragrance. 

I was listening to NPR this past week.  The US Federal EPA put out their report on mercury levels in lakes, rivers and streams.  Ohio’s rivers were on the list.  There were officials playing down the report and others stating it wasn’t strong enough.  There was a group discussing how much this clean­-up was going to cost and how much the burden of cost was placed on businesses for preventive mechanism.  Health officials told about health conditions due to mercury exposure: neuropathies, hypertension, and kidney failure and memory loss.  

This story to me is familiar.  It reminds me of the stories that preluded the 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire.  The river had been polluted for decades from industries along the river.  Cleveland became associated with water pollution.  But one thing the public forgets, this was the tipping point.  People put aside their differences and the nation developed and implemented clean water standards.   


Stink Spirit before the bath and soon to
reveal that it is actually ancient river spirit
All the Stuff that came out of the River Spirit
In Hiyao Miyazaki’s animated movie Spirited Away (2001), a stink spirit comes into the bathhouse.  The main character, Chihiro is forced to take care of it by treating it with respect and by giving it a bath regardless of the smell.  Chihiro showers the spirit with clean water and realizes that something isn’t right.  She begins pulling on what appears to be a stick piercing its side.  The stick turns into chains, bike, car…. And the stink spirit is transformed into an ancient river spirit.    We learn that water pollution has done this to the spirit of the river.     The spirit rewards Chihiro’s kindness with a healing biscuit.


We can all agree water is essential to life.  However, I believe many in my country have forgotten the joy that comes from having clean water.  We stick our glass under the faucet and take a drink.  It’s automatic like blinking.  It’s just like our easy access to a flushing toilet and a hot shower.  Call it taking it for granted or it’s something we don’t have to be concerned about – it’s something only those other places have to worry about.  Places where contaminated water cause severe diarrhea and death from Cholera, dysentery and parasites happens daily.  

I know several people who have been a part of the Marion Shallow Well Project in Malawi.   The purpose this project is to bring clean water by installing a shallow well and a pump in rural villages.   The overall project costs around $400 (US Dollars) and $5.00-10.00 yearly for maintenance.  The wells are built and maintained by the villagers.  The Project assists with the materials and training they can’t afford.  One of my friends described the celebrations that occurred every time when the clean water came out of the well for the first time – dancing, singing, music making and feasts.  There were joyful tears from parents who didn’t have to worry anymore for their children.       

I have been following the blogger AskaWolfSong – author of Stone Soup and Heart Song.  Her posts describe how our waters are becoming so polluted and we need to sit-up and take action to help the spirit of our planet.  Recently, I read her essay about how the First Nations are calling for international healing prayers for our waters.  It is distressing to learn that our waters are becoming so polluted from farm run-off, industry and our unwanted stuff (i.e., plastic water bottles, Styrofoam cups, pop cans, and plastic bags). 

I think back to the Cuyahoga River Fire.  There is no joy in water without life.    

AskaWolfSong shared this wonderful concert by R. Carlos Nakai with me from Youtube recording.

R. Carlos Nakai at National Geographic's "Water Is Life" celebration on Martha's Vineyard. THIS FULL ONE-HOUR version includes rare video of Nakai sharing his LIVING PHILOSOPHY about the evolution of humankind and the flute music of various civilizations through time - along with an expanded selection of his Native American Flute music to flow with this celebratory water event

Vow: Solemnly promise to do a specified thing ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Joyful: Feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary

My joyful vow this year for water is to appreciate it more.  When it rains this summer, put the umbrella down or put my feet in a cold steam and give thanks.  I’ll be mindful each time I take a drink that I can drink safely.  I also vow to save $5.00 a week for others to have the joy I have.  The money will be placed under my CAYA “water jar” and shared with the Marian Shallow Well Project at the end of the year. 



  1. I'm crying big fat tears of joy here...what a beautiful post about water and its importance to all of life. Water is feminine and comes from the Lunar Mother...we all feel its pull...every living thing on this planet...and so what happens to one part of the web happens to every part of the web.

    I make it a daily practice to say:
    Water, I love you!
    Water, Please forgive me!
    Water, I am so sorry!
    I send healing to you now...healing to you now...healing to you now!

    Also on New and Full Moon I try to get to a large body of water and do ceremony...
    It is important that all of us engage in the Healing of Mother Earth's Waters...and it begins in our hearts, teaching our children and grandchildren, our community...I take my Grandson, FireKeeper with me when I go to a large body of water...he assists me where needed and partakes in it as well. I hope he passes it on to his children and those he knows.
    Soon, it will be my Grandaughter as she is now of the age to know and feel it deep within.

    I've heard of the Cayahuga River's Fire and it breaks my heart...sometime just google the dirtiest rivers in the world and then pray for them...I spent the better part of a year doing so and need to get back into that practice...I've mostly been just visiting locally but time to get with the bigger picture again.

    Well, anyway...Thank You Dear One for writing about is near and dear to my whole being!!!

    Bless You, Bless You, Bless You!

    1. Blessings to you Akasa - Praying for the rivers remind me of the whole rice experiment/water experiment that was done in Japan. Prayer is pretty powerful stuff.

  2. I love your posts, they make me become introspective, and want to do better :) I think my change jar may need to be donated as well :)

    1. SchaChia - being introspective is part of spirituality they don't often teach. Sometimes there seems to be a lot of telling what we should do - rather that giving us time to chew on it - Western PA idea.


Hi all - I really like your comments, but have had a change of heart regarding anonymous comments. My CCWWW beliefs are that you need to stand behind what you say and what you do. Peace out.