Volume 5, Issue 9
We have rounded the corner when the nights settle markedly cooler air into the nooks and crannies of the mountains and the mornings are filled with misty blankets. Here and there a splash of red or orange flutters from a tree while birds begin to flock and the veggies wind down their abundant ripening. Autumn is in the air with soft luscious still-warm days where all of nature breathes a sigh of satisfaction as a well deserved break from the on rush of growth approaches. Here at Sweetwater Sanctuary we are still in full swing harvesting the garden, maintaining the herb gardens and teaching classes. Mark worked very hard this past month to arrange for a well to be drilled after our spring became so low we felt compelled to tap into another source of water. It was a big decision for us (one that broke my heart) but we felt it was a wise and necessary move. So all you class goers can be assured of plenty of water for showers even though you may still want to rinse off in the stream now that you know how wonderful it is to bath in wild water.
We are beginning to work on our calendar for 2013 so keep checking our website at Partner Earth Education Center for info on upcoming classes and apprenticeships.
Precious Water by Pam Montgomery
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.
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.
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 resources you may want to tap into:
The Blue Planet Project www.blueplanetproject.net
Circle of Blue www.circleofblue.org
The Groundwater Foundation www.groundwater.org
“Water Consciousness” http://waterconsciousness.com
“Blue Covenant” by Maude Barlow www.canadians.org
Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
by Mary Oliver
spoke to me
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,
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 –
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.
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