Water is the First Medicine
We join with the Earth and with each other.
We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life. Amen.
With the pandemic we are experiencing a deepening awareness of how we are in relationship with both the human community and with all of the natural world.
This reflection offers resources on water, so essential to life on planet Earth.
From the vestiges of our anthropocentric view, we see ourselves in relation to water. However, can we consider that water is in relationship to us, perhaps observing us. To explore the choices we are facing, we invite you to view the CSJ Federation video, One River Two Futures.
The right to safe potable water is certainly a foremost issue for countries in the global south; however, even in Canada, over 150 Indigenous Nation communities have boiled water advisories, some for decades.
Fortunately, there is persistent environmental advocacy to address the root causes for this inequality that reflect systemic social-political divides, racial discrimination and the privileges of wealth.
Fortunately too, there are individuals, many unsung heroes, who urge us on to actively engage these issues. One such woman has been “Water Walker” Grandmother Josephine Mandamin (Anishinaabekwe). Accompanied by many, she walked over 25,000 km. around the shores of all the Great Lakes and other water ways in North America until her death in 2019.
Fortunately, too, there are groups that are creating sustainable solutions. One such group is Water First Project which is training Canadian Indigenous men and women to be certified in the areas of water management and drinking water treatment – skills which can impact the long-term health of communities.
Fortunately too, we recognize more than ever, that we cannot do this alone. We must collaborate with others if we are to protect water.
The Council of Canadians, inspired by water activist Maude Barlow, has initiated the Blue Communities project to fight for Canada’s freshwater sources, recognizing water as part of a shared commons that must be protected from privatization, pollution and bulk exports.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada became a Blue Community in 2017. We invite others to visit bluecommunitycsj.org to join and take the pledge to protect our most sacred trust. Together, we will make a difference.
Dr. Masaru Emoto, wrote about the memory of water in his book, The Hidden Messages in Water. He has said that the very least we should do every day, is to speak to the water.
A simple prayer is The Water Song written by Doreen Day at the request of her grandson:
Water, we love you.
We thank you.
We respect you.
Pray with this song today [click to listen].
From Mother Earth Water Walk.
Blue Community CSJ's web article on boil water advisories for Indigenous communities
By Sisters Betty Lou Knox, Mary Mettler and Janet Speth, CSJ
Photo by Sister Betty Lou Knox
Water design by Paul Baines, CSJ Blue Community Coordinator