As a gardener and advocate of sustainable gardening, I thought that writing about water for Blog Action Day would be a no brainer.
Yet, each time I prepared to write about the importance of conserving water, my mind took me back to moments in my childhood; moments in which water played a pivotal role, leaving indelible memories and emotions of joy, love and beauty.
WATER: memories from my childhood.
Sights, smells, sounds
My siblings and I chasing and squirting each other with the hose; howling, shouting and laughing
On a burning hot summer day waiting impatiently for the baby pool to be filled up so that I could plop myself in
My father hosing down the car and with a soapy sponge, diligently removing grime and scratches
Drops of water free falling from the oscillating sprinkler, soaking our front lawn on summer nights as dusk settled in
One of my parents playing and cleaning me as I frolicked and sang in the tub
The beginning of summer at camp, diving into a freezing lake filled with sea weed; swimming to the dock and back in order to pass the deep end swimmer’s test.
Skipping stones on a still black lake
Walking through Watkins Glen, a maze of water and a force of nature, mesmerized by the sounds, sights and smells; knowing that I was touching divinity.
Watching and smelling torrential rain and hail sitting on the back the car in the garage
The ferocious lullaby of ocean waves
All of these scenes have had a significant emotional impact on me….one of beauty, sacredness and love.
Western civilization of the twenty first century overwhelmingly thinks of water as a product to be controlled and mastered in order to serve our needs. And yet, indigenous cultures revere water, understanding that it is the source of life. Prayers for water and Rain Dances historically were, and still are today, an integral part of certain cultures. These cultures intrinsically know that water is a powerful force, a gift from God, not to be taken lightly.
Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth;
without rain, there would be no life.
– John Updike
We are water.
70% of our bodies is water. As newborns, our bodies are composed of 80% water. As we grow older, the percentage decreases. By the time we die, the % is below 50. Without enough water, we die.
For most of my life, I took water for granted. One would think that as a gardener I would automatically have a great appreciation for water. But that wasn’t the case. For several years, water was a commodity that was to be used whenever I wanted, to service my needs. In my early years of gardening, I was one of those homeowners who diligently watered my lawn throughout the dog days of summer.
I wasn’t thinking. I was mindless. At some point, I don’t remember when, my relationship with water went through a major transformation.
Today I think about water each time I use or come into contact with it. When I wake up in the morning and step into the shower, feeling the force of water on my back…..boy, does it ever feel good….I experience a sense of gratitude.
When I go rowing early in the morning or as dusk settles in, I am often stunned by the amount of pollution and things floating in the water (bottles, containers, papers, and God knows what else..). For a moment, I feel a flash of anger and frustration at others total disregard for this narrow, winding river. And yet, like a plant that is infested with insects, I remind myself that the water, regardless of the condition it is in, is inherently a magnificent, mysterious, life giving force, pure and generous. And I give thanks.
Masuro Emoto, a renowned author of several books on water, has done a series of studies on water over several years; he takes before and after pictures of frozen water crystals. In his book ‘The Shape of Love’, Emoto shows how thoughts and feelings affect water’s physical reality. He has proven (although there is some controversy about the validity of his studies) that when an individual or groups produce different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and then literally present it to the same water samples, the water appears to “change its expression”. Whether or not you agree with Masaru Emoto’s findings, his work is worth checking out.
So, the next time you’re washing off fresh fruits and vegetables in your kitchen, pause, even for a few seconds, and give thanks to water, the source of life.